Caffeinated Heaven: Astoria Coffee
By Ilija Sekulovski
We recently tweeted Astoria Coffee on a whim, and before we knew it, Dennis Lee was knocking on our office doors with the most beautiful jar of coffee ever.
Here’s one thing you should know about all of us at Give Me Astoria: We live off of coffee. It was like Christmas when we bought a Keurig. I took selfies with it. I wish I was kidding. So, it’s no surprise that when we found out about a coffee delivery program that brings coffee right to your door, and a new coffee shop opening up, we were ecstatic.
Astoria Coffee was founded by coffee-couple Dennis Lee and Liz Wick, born from their passion for hospitality. Dennis spent time teaching earth science and music in New York City public schools, as well as building guitars, and Liz is a practice manager at a retina surgeons office. So why pick the coffee business?
Dennis tells us that he and Liz met at a coffee shop – the kind of coffee shops that aren’t really found anymore, with friendly, familiar faces and an environment that promotes community. This, mixed with their experience in their service industry, led them to the coffee shop world. They’ve been sampling coffee from roasters all over America, trying to find the perfect blends to bring to customers.
Astoria Coffee is aiming for a June opening, at 30-04 30th street, and it’s something we’re really looking forward to. The cool part about the new store opening is that it was funded by the Queens Economic Development Corporation – Dennis and Liz won a grant for their fantastic idea and vision, standing out among dozens of entries. Until it opens, though, they’re still driving around Astoria and delivering their latest coffee brand – this month they’ve got Ethiopia Ardi from AJ Coffee Co. in Dallas Texas.
When Astoria Coffee does open up, there’s going to be a house brand from Ohio, but the coffee shop aims to have a rotating brand of coffee roasters each month – showcasing brands from all over the country. They’re also going to have beer and wine, and want to showcase local bakeries and Queens based food producers. The vibe will be comfortable, intimate, and totally community based – a place to hang out with friends, and a place to feel like you really belong; a home away from home…with the smell of coffee in the air.
If you haven’t tried any of Dennis and Liz’s coffee yet, you absolutely should! The jar we tried was Case Coffee from Ashland, Oregon, and it was so amazingly fresh – we polished it off almost instantly. The best part is you can sign up for a subscription, and automatically get the latest roasts from Astoria Coffee – it’s like a coffee surprise every other week, from people that love coffee, and love making coffee-lovers happy!