The coffee mini-chain -- which currently operates six stores in Manhattan in addition to the Long Island City roastery -- is all about good coffee, conversation, and of course, caffeine.
Jeremy Lyman and Paul Schlader, co-founders and owners of Birch, started out by sitting in New York coffee shops, monitoring the purchasing and lingering behavior of coffee customers.
A cashed-in bar mitzvah bond later, Birch was born in 2009. Since then, the chain has expanded throughout the city. Now, Birch is about to open what they say is the Bronx's first specialty coffee store (defined as a coffeeshop serving coffee that scores an 80 or above by the Specialty Coffee Association of America's grading standards), at 866 Hunts Point Ave.
And the coffee? Excellent. Since 2015, all of Birch's coffee has been roasted in its Queens headquarters. Here, beans that Lyman and Schlader have sourced from trips and tastings around the world are roasted, cupped and eventually brewed to be sipped from one of Birch's signature cups. No green straw necessary.
Tours of the roastery aren't open to the public, but you can book a private cupping to gain a greater appreciation for coffee. Take a look around the behind-the-scenes roasting action.
Birch imports all of its beans after visiting farms around the world
Beans are shipped in grain-pro bags, lined with plastic
This machine roasts all of the coffee
It only takes a few minutes to roast coffee beans
There's a lot of coffee here
Before coffee is ready to serve, baristas cup it
And then you can enjoy it with a book