The hustle and bustle of New York City bleeds across the entire New York metropolitan area, especially to the towns in its closest proximity. Edgewater, New Jersey, which is only minutes from the George Washington Bridge, is home to the recently established Kuppi Coffee Company. Co-owned and managed by siblings Kevin and Vivian Kim, Kuppi has been well-received here in New Jersey since soft opening in November 2015.
Kuppi’s storefront, located in a strip mall right along the Hudson River, was formerly a hair salon. Kevin and Vivian Kim chose to remodel the property to create a more spacious, welcoming interior. The store’s front and rear walls are mostly glass, highlighting a beautiful view of the Hudson River that can be seen from the back of the shop, allowing natural light to flood the seating areas. The shop is organized into three sections: a bar and seating area in the front, a communal workspace in the middle, and a lounge area in the back.
Kuppi’s design is sleek and modern but has a rustic vibe as well; the wooden tables are paired with mismatched stools, and the walls are tastefully decorated with various art, flowers, and coffee paraphernalia. Kevin and Vivian Kim collaborated with Anurag Nema of Nema Workshop (located in New York City) to create the design concept. “I was inspired by Four Barrel Coffee’s aesthetic,” Kevin Kim explained. Nema showed Kevin Kim, he tells me, “how to play with the space to make it an extension of [himself].”
In the back seating area, it is hard to not be absorbed by the gorgeous view of the river. A deck out back will become popular once the warm weather comes around. Kevin Kim plans on constructing an outdoor seating area, furnished with tree stumps as stools to continue his rustic theme as he extends outside.
Kuppi exclusively brews George Howell Coffee from Massachusetts, and its teas are supplied by In Pursuit of Tea. Kuppi’s espresso equipment includes a Modbar espresso system and is paired with both a Nuova Simonelli Clima Pro and a Mahlkönig EK 43 (for single origins and decaf coffees) for grinders. Kevin Kim chose a Modbar system so the coffee bar’s aesthetic would match the rest of Kuppi’s minimal, clean lines design. Baristas prepare all pour-over coffees with either a glass or stainless steel Kalita Wave, a Mahlkönig EK 43, and Acaia scales. The staff prepares cold brew with the same beans as their drip coffee, and it is served with a tap system. Kuppi sources its pastries from local businesses including Balthazar Bakery, Dough Donuts, and OM Sweet Home (for gluten-free pastries).
Kuppi has successfully established a welcoming, family-friendly environment that is even equipped with high chairs and other accommodations for customers of all ages. Only months after opening, Kevin and Vivian Kim have achieved their goal of creating a nice hangout that welcomes a “diverse client base that reflects the community,” according to Kevin Kim. As Edgewater’s first specialty coffee shop, Kuppi Coffee Company has quickly given this fast-paced community a place where patrons—whether they have to cross the river every day or not—can unwind and feel at home.
Adam Friedlander is a freelance writer. This is Friedlander's first feature for Sprudge.