On Belvidere Street between Broadway and Bushwick Avenues sits Drip, a new pour-over coffee shop and espresso bar with an ironic motto: “slow down and have coffee.”
“Slow down” isn’t something Brooklynites typically equate with a cup of coffee. But at Drip, coffee isn’t just about caffeine. Everything about Drip, from the way the coffee is made to how the coffee should be enjoyed, takes time. And the wait is more than worth it.
Drip founder and owner Nigel Price started out selling coffee from a cart in 2018 and moved into his storefront on Belvidere Street just over a year ago. There, Price puts out an extensive menu, with all of the coffee and espresso classics. But the specialty at Drip is undoubtedly its pour-over, which is made one cup at a time. While pour-over coffee has been popular for years in many Northwestern cities, including Seattle and Portland, the concept is still relatively new to New York.
Like typical drip, the process of making pour-over involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds that are sitting in a filter. The primary difference is that making pour-over coffee does not involve a machine. That way, brewers have control over the pouring style and temperature of the water. By using the pour-over method, brewers are able to accentuate the flavors and aromas inside every coffee bean.
“It does take a little longer to make one cup of coffee for one guest,” said Price. “But the end result, the actual coffee that you get, just tastes so much better than what you can typically get from a batch brew. It easily turns people into converts.”
For someone used to grabbing a quick cup from a corner store or a more traditional coffee shop, the experience at Drip feels special. Those who opt for a pour-over start by picking out which roast they would like from Price’s extensive selection, which line the wall at Drip. Then, the barista on duty spends the next few minutes delicately pouring hot water over the ground beans.
“I was hedging my bets on whether someone would wait two or three minutes for a cup of coffee the way that they would wait for a latte, which takes two or three minutes as well,” said Price. “So far, the concept has proven that people will wait.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Price hasn’t always been a coffee aficionado. He studied economics and mathematics in college and spent the first part of his professional career in finance.
“It wasn’t a good fit, my corporate gig,” said Price. “I didn’t enjoy going to work. I didn’t even really understand what that meant at the time. I just knew I couldn’t do it forever.”
When the financial crisis of 2008 hit and his job was shipped overseas, Price started to think about what his next professional step would be. Before too long, he fell down a coffee rabbit hole. What originally started with research evolved into working at local coffee shops and attending annual coffee shows and competitions in cities throughout the United States.
“In hindsight, if I knew it was going to take a decade, I probably would’ve abandoned the mission. But I wouldn’t trade that time for the world,” said Price.
Drawing inspiration from what he saw professional baristas make at the competitions and shows he attended, Price decided it was time to go his own way.
Price started with a cart in 2018 and, initially, the cart was only going to be for catering, Price said. But in his downtime, when he wasn’t working at weddings or corporate events, Price would roll his cart out in front of the Brooklyn Museum or at the farmers market at Prospect Park.
“The way people gravitated towards the cart and towards the whole concept — just wanting to know what I was doing and what differentiated pour-over coffee from typical batch brew coffee — it just fascinated people,” said Price. “That’s when I decided that when I financially could open a shop, it would be centered around pour-over coffee.”
Largely due to that growing following, Price was able to open a storefront.
The opening of the in January 2020 had timed up almost perfectly with the start of the global pandemic. According to Price, it was only because he opened shop in a residential neighborhood, where many were working from home and needed to get out of the house for a cup of coffee, that he was able to survive.
But not every coffee shop in Brooklyn has been so fortunate and Price recently was able to hire a few (he says) “super talented” out-of-work local baristas to work with him at Drip. Like Price, each of these baristas carries an open invitation for customers near and far to swing by for a coffee and a chat.
“People who don’t want to be preached to but want to learn about specialty coffee can walk in, speak to anybody behind the counter and get a quick tutorial or sit there for an hour or two and really geek out about coffee,” said Price.
Top photo and third photo credit: Jackson Schroeder
Middle image from Instagram.
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