Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

Engage with coffee in one of best coffee cities

January 5, 2016 by cgrosch

Travel + Leisure has named Providence one of best coffee cities in U.S. for the past several years, including 2015. The magazine’s readers ranked major metro areas according to the strength of their local roasters and cafes, and Providence – occupying third place, up a notch from 2014 – was the only city in the Northeast to make the top ten.

New Harvest Coffee Roasters, now in its 16th year, is one of those local roasters giving Providence its coffee claim to fame. Founded in 2000 by the husband-wife team of Rik Kleinfeldt and Paula Anderson, New Harvest now boasts two locations: their roasting facility and cafe in the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket and New Harvest Coffee and Spirits in the Arcade on Weybosset Street in downtown Providence.

A training center at their Pawtucket roastery hosts a variety of events geared towards professional baristas, coffee enthusiasts, or anyone else who wants to learn how to make a really great cup of coffee. On a recent Saturday morning, they offered a free public coffee cupping, an almost-romantic-ritual that involves methodically analyzing different coffees for fragrance, aroma, and flavor.

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The fragrance of the dry grounds might be described as sweet, spicy or nutty. Then, water mixing with the coffee and oxygen will produce a more intense aroma. And when it is finally tasted with a spoon, words like body, depth, and finish are used. Is it full, rich? Does it taste fruity or woody? Is the aftertaste bitter or smooth? It’s looking at coffee – from farm to farm or even crop to crop – in its basic form and identifying and appreciating its finer points.

As artisan roasters, New Harvest travels to South and Central America to connect directly with small coffee farms, creating lasting relationships with the growers, and expanding the community of people who understand and appreciate how challenging and rewarding great coffee can be.

“To put it simply, our mission is to encourage you to engage with coffee.”