Welcome to City Brewed. We’re all about celebrating the life that happens over coffee: morning rituals, fresh-brewed inspiration, and taking a peek inside cafes near and far.

Coffee Talk: Fall in love with Joel & Renata of Eastlick Coffee Company

Coffee Talk: Fall in love with Joel & Renata of Eastlick Coffee Company

Joel & Renata of Eastlick Coffee Company

Coffee and love. Love and coffee. Do the two go hand in hand? In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and an imaginary cupid practically circling my head, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce you to Joel and Renata Eastlick – my very own proof that love and coffee do go hand in hand, and their story starts in Europe, circa 2005.

Interested yet? Pull up a seat, grab your caffeine of choice and let’s talk L-O-V-E love, and you know, coffee.

Becoming Eastlick Coffee

Renata and I met in Europe back in 2005. While we were there, we fell in love with the sidewalk café culture that is so prevalent there. I only knew of Folger’s and Maxwell House growing up, so I had no concept of coffee as a social event. Once I experienced it, I was hooked. That’s really where the seed was planted. Fast-forward almost a decade, and I decided to leave behind my 9-5 office job and get back into coffee.

As Joel puts it, he was approaching 30, and still trying to figure out how to love what he did for a living. But this was just the fuel, and the dream never died – it was just a quick detour.

After stints at Starbucks, then in marketing, then some non-profit work, Joel picked up a barista job in south Florida, where he had his first exposure to the “third-wave” culture: lighter roasts, manual brewing, traceable coffee – you get the idea. With fresh inspiration and some invaluable advice from the owners of this small, neighborhood coffee shop, Joel went back to his roots to learn how to roast.

Renata and I moved to Brooklyn, and six months later, I was hired to apprentice roast for Ninth Street Espresso, a NYC coffee culture titan. It was through their relationship with the Pulley Collective that I learned how to operate a roasting business.

Two years later,  Eastlick Coffee Company was born.

The beans about it

Running a coffee company isn't all fun, games and warm fuzzies – it’s multi-disciplinary. You can roast great coffee, but do you know spreadsheets? And on the flip side of that, you can have a great website and great branding, but do you roast great coffee? Here are a few tips on what it takes to manage a roasting company:

1) You have to be diligent: Taste all the coffee you can (your own batches and others’). Be prepared to sample your coffee out like crazy. Visit cafes and diners and restaurants and co-working spaces over and over again.
2) You have to be personable: Learn how to communicate who you are and what you do, and like-minded people will find you.
3) Know some math: That goes for budgeting, bookkeeping, calculating batch sizes, pricing for green and roasted coffee. Don’t let the numbers drown you.

Meet the Eastlicks

Joel and Renata bring new meaning to love in coffee. The duo brew, taste, sample and sell side by side, sharing their common passion while exploring, experimenting and always offering up an ear to ear smile (trust me, I’ve seen it!).

The two started Eastlick Coffee Company to “offer coffee that is delicious and approachable; both complex and comforting.” The Eastlick’s believe something about coffee that truly reflects the underlying message of why I started City Brewed in the first place: coffee should be enjoyed over good food, good conversations and good times.

If you’re trying Eastlick Coffee for the first time, you may want to start out with Joel's recommended blend, The Ace.

I named it after my dad; It’s a classic profile that makes a lot of people happy, while pushing the boundaries just enough to keep you aware that you might be in for a surprise whenever you take a sip.

If you're in New York, ask for Eastlick at one of these cafés!

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