Some call it a “Chill Town”, some call it the “6th Borough”, but we just call it Jersey City, home to the growing Modcup Coffee brand. Sprudge associate editor Liz Clayton visited Modcup’s original cafe in Jersey City Heights back in 2015, and now we’re checking in with them again to learn more about the brand’s spiffy new roasting facility & cafe flagship.
As told to Sprudge by Justin Hicks of Modcup Coffee Company.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Modcup Coffee Company is based out of Jersey City which is a quick five-minute train ride from NYC. Some call it the “6th Borough,” some call it “Chill Town.” We are a company based on freshness and modernism. We started three years ago with a tiny espresso cart, grew to a tiny cafe overlooking NYC in Jersey City Heights, launched a truck, and now the final jigsaw piece a cafe and roasting facility in one.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
Our new space is a multi-use space that sits right beside Mana Contemporary, a large cultural center that hosts artists, exhibitions, and studio tours. We split the space up into different sections, our roasting operation sits in the back where we house our green coffee and roaster. Another portion is used strictly for our cold brew program, another for office and bagging work, and the majority showcases our coffee and seating area.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to coffee is simple. Keep it modern.
1. Freshly roasted coffee under any circumstances
2. Brewed with science and soul
We try to keep our menu and offerings simple and exciting which can be somewhat of a challenge, but I think we do it pretty well. We stay away from the nonsense terms like cappuccino, flat white, small latte, etc… Instead what we offer on the menu is espresso + milk so that the consumer knows what’s in their drink and can more easily understand the beverage.
Our coffees are approached with the question “With or Without milk?” that way we can guide the consumer to something they like much easier and without confusing them.
After that we offer some signature coffee beverages made from our Dredger concentrate to showcase how flexible of a beverage cold-brewed coffee can be. As well as a delicious cascara to mix things up.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We are running the new La Marzocco Linea PB with the integrated scale technology which has been a fun and challenging learning curve. However, I think the machine has really allowed us to discover a new avenue of thinking about espresso which is quite lovely.
Hopefully in the near future here we will upgrade to a Probat UG22.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
Currently we are in a soft opening, however, we hope to plan a grand opening in the next week or so.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We had a few people help us in the process—our good friend Carlos from Stuart Dean, who is a master of all trades, helped us out tremendously, Joe from Tribeca Grain, and my business partner Travas who really made this place come together with his ideas and designing.