Stone Street Coffee Review: Roasting Delicious Coffee in Brooklyn
In Brooklyn, New York, Stone Street Coffee Company is an artisanal coffee roaster offering premium coffee beans at affordable prices. With coffees available on Amazon and in major grocery chains, we doubted that Stone Street Coffee could live up to its promise of fresh, small-batch roasted coffee. But we came away pleasantly surprised, especially by their selection of single origins and their well-crafted cold brew coffee blends.
This review will look at everything Stone Street Coffee offers, from its main product line to wholesale options and sustainability initiatives. We’ll dig into the quality of the coffee, which coffee beans we would recommend, and whether the value for money is acceptable.
Summary: Stone Street Coffee
- Specialty small batch roaster offering gourmet arabica coffee beans, both individually and wholesale.
- Huge variety: blends, single origins, flavored coffee, decaf, coffee pods, and more.
- Excellent value for money, especially with a subscription or when buying in bulk.
I’ve tried both the Chocolate Cold Brew and the Cold Brew Blend. They are both delicious and flavorful. I will definitely be ordering from Stone Street again– Customer Review
The Full Stone Street Coffee Review
Stone Street is a specialty small-batch roaster of artisanal coffee-based out of Brooklyn, New York. They primarily roast gourmet Arabica coffee beans, which they source from top coffee-growing regions worldwide. They offer both unique single origins as well as carefully crafted blends. And thanks to their commitment to small-batch roasting delicious coffee, it should be fresh and flavorful no matter what you order.
In this Stone Street Coffee review, we will dig into all aspects of the brand. We’ll start by considering the most important thing, the quality of the coffee. Then follow it with a rundown of their vast selection, some recommended brewing methods, and their pricing and value.
But it’s not just about the coffee. We also want to consider how they’re managing social and environmental responsibility in the era of climate change and tremendous wealth disparity between coffee producers and consumers (1).
Coffee Quality and Flavor – 3.5/5
For a business that has undergone such expansion, it is impressive that Stone Street Coffee Company has maintained its commitment to high-quality coffee beans. They are still a specialty small-batch roaster roasting delicious coffee. With many companies, once we see them offering their products on Amazon and in stores like Walmart, we see quality deteriorate. It becomes tempting to roast in larger batches or source from bigger coffee farms growing poorer quality coffee beans.
But Stone Street Coffee has done neither.
Stone Street continues to prioritize finding the best green coffee beans and roasting them in small batches to ensure the coffee you receive is always at optimal coffee freshness. For this reason, they’re among the best-selling coffee beans on Amazon. Though we still recommend you buy straight from the company for a guarantee of freshly roasted coffee, especially if you are buying pre-ground coffee beans.
Looking at the Stone Street Coffee Company’s selection of single-origin coffee beans is an excellent way to appreciate their commitment to high-quality sourcing. They all come from parts of the world-renowned for exceptional coffee beans, often grown in rich volcanic soils at high elevations – the conditions needed to grow the best gourmet Arabica beans (2). These are the regions producing the coffees on our coffee bean bucket list.
Many of Stone Street’s single-origin beans are light roasts is another indication of quality. In a light roast bean, poor quality has nowhere to hide, so the roaster needs a degree of confidence. With a lighter roast, you taste a lot of the origin rather than the caramelization of the roasting process (3).
Stone Street Coffee also has a thriving wholesale business, so take note if you’re reading this on behalf of a brand or business. They have partnered with many top names in New York and further afield.
For example, Stone Street Coffee Company worked with top chef Eric Ripert (a man who knows a thing or two about flavor) to create a custom blend, which is now served in his Three-Michelin-Star restaurant, Le Bernardin (4). That Stone Street is worthy of this caliber of the restaurant is as much a testament to its quality as you could ask for. Lovers of fine food tend to appreciate fine coffee flavors, says Stone Street owner Johan Pesenti.
[My target audience is] anyone that enjoys fine cheese, fine wine and fine gourmet products, especially espresso.
If you’re interested in developing a wholesale relationship with Stone Street Coffee, they will walk you through every part of the process. You can experience a private tasting at their Brooklyn Roastery, and if nothing suits your taste, they’ll help you craft a unique blend to meet your needs. Once your coffee is in hand, they’ll even train you and your staff on the best methods for brewing and serving.
Selection and Variety – 4/5
The selection of coffee available from Stone Street is awe-inspiring, especially given that it is all freshly roasted. Let’s do a quick rundown of what’s on offer.
Stone Street Coffee produces many blends, all of which are carefully crafted, freshly roasted, and prepared with a specific brewing method.
Traditionally, espressos are prepared with a coffee blend because it is the best way to achieve a sweet and balanced flavor and the rich crema that characterizes the drink (5). Stone Street Coffee offers several exceptional espresso blends.
Home Grounds’ favorite is the well-named Perfect Espresso, a medium-dark roasted blend with surprisingly complex flavors and a rich crema.
It is delicious as an espresso or Americano and stands up well to milk in a latte. For dark roasted coffee lovers, there is the Knee Buckling Espresso blend, and it pairs five different dark roast Arabica beans for a full-bodied brew with dark chocolate notes. The medium roasted Rainforest Espresso is another excellent option, featuring a blend of coffees certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Of course, there is no reason that an espresso blend needs to be used for espresso. Nor must you make espresso from a bag of beans labeled as such.
Stone Street Coffee Company offers a selection of other blends, which feature a variety of roast levels and decaf and half-caf options. One of the most popular is the Brooklyn Roast, and it pairs light roasted and dark roasted beans for something that blends into a medium roast experience but with incredible depth and complexity.
If you’re looking for a decaffeinated option, the Mayan Water Decaf is a fantastic choice. It’s a medium roasted smooth blend of Central and South American Arabica beans, certified by the Rainforest Alliance and decaffeinated using the environmentally friendly Swiss Water process. The resulting freshly brewed coffee has a medium body and earthy flavors.
Stone Street Coffee doesn’t have as large a collection of single origins as some other coffee companies, but they offer all the highest quality beans. So far, they seem to be sticking with the best-established coffee growing regions, from which they can reliably source specialty-grade coffee beans. As they expand and have more clout, it will be interesting to see if future directions will have them exploring less developed regions in the quest for the next big thing. And it is entirely possible this is already being done behind the scenes.
At present, you’ll find coffee beans from the most famous regions in Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Sumatra, Tanzania, Colombia, Mexico, and Guatemala. Our pick is the Tanzanian Peaberry, sourced from a family-owned farm. It’s a medium roast with a rich flavor, full-body, and clean and crisp cup – perfect for drip coffee. Lovers of dark roasted coffee will adore the Sumatra Mandheling beans, a low-acid option with a creamy body and dark chocolaty flavor with enticing cedar and spice notes.
Stone Street Coffee Company is well known for their carefully crafted cold brew coffee blends, which they offer in several flavors and as either a medium or dark roast. If you want to get some use out of your cold brewer this summer, pick some up for cold brewing.
There are two traditional cold brew coffee blends made from 100% Arabica beans, the Cold Brew Reserve and the Cold Brew Breakfast Blend. The Cold Brew Reserve is the darker of the two, made up of dark roast Colombian Supremo beans, and it is also available as a dark roasted decaf version. The Breakfast Blend Cold Brew is a slightly sweet cold brew coffee with a medium roast and brighter flavors than the original.
Stone Street Coffee has also introduced the Cold Brew Boost line (6). These dark roast blends have a portion of Robusta beans that gives them a darker, earthier flavor and a bigger hit of caffeine – hence the boost. The Cold Brew Boost is available in a traditional dark roast and a mocha-flavored variety.
If you’re looking for a hot coffee with the added caffeine boost of a Robusta blend, read our review of Death Wish Coffee.
The remainder of the cold brew line is made up of flavored coffees. Not everyone loves flavored coffee, but it has its place. There is something wonderfully appealing about a cold brew coffee with a hint of buttery hazelnut or slightly sweet chocolate on a hot day. The available flavors are Chocolate, French Vanilla, Blueberry, Hazelnut, Chocolate Hazelnut, Vanilla Hazelnut, and Caramel Nut.
Speaking of flavored coffee, Stone Street Coffee Company offers a large selection of freshly roasted flavored brews. All your favorite flavors are here, including Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Irish Cream, etc. But there are also a few novelties you might not expect. The Blueberry Cobbler is a surprise hit, especially when prepared as a clean pour-over; Stone Street’s Gingerbread Blend is a guaranteed crowd favorite around the holidays, and the Amaretti Cookie option is perfectly Italian.
Most of the flavored coffees are also available in decaf options, making some of the richer flavors an excellent choice for an after-dinner treat.
Different Roast Levels
No matter your favorite coffee roast, there is a Stone Street coffee for you. In each case, it’s clear that some thought has been put into choosing the appropriate roast to showcase the nature of the coffee beans. Here are a few of our favorites:
- For dark roasted coffee devotees, check out the Real World Blend, which manages to be both boldly flavored and subtle at the same time. It combines coffee beans from Brazil, Sumatra, and Central America with African Peaberry coffee for something extraordinary – full-bodied, smooth, sweet, with just a hint of fruity tang. Pro tip: Try this one as an iced coffee in the summer.
- For medium roast fans, the RFA Colombia is a reliable choice. It’s a single-origin coffee that blends different varieties all from within Colombia. Colombian coffee is known for its clean flavors of chocolate, nuts, and fruit, and this coffee delivers on all that while also being Rainforest Alliance Certified.
- Light roast lovers have the smallest selection to choose from. Still, it’s universally high quality, primarily single-origin beans from the world’s most renowned growing regions (Costa Rica Tarrazu, Ethiopia Sidamo, Colombia Supremo, etc.) Our favorite is the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, a reliably excellent origin. It’s a mellow and light-bodied brew with lemon, chocolate, and floral notes.
Different Coffee Formats
Home Grounds always recommends grinding your beans for optimal coffee freshness, but we recognize that not everyone has the time or equipment. So if you’re a fan of Nespresso or Keurig-style single-serve coffee machines, you’ll be happy to hear you can still indulge in Stone Street coffee.
Their selection of the Nespresso-style espresso capsules is minimal, with just a single offering, the Wall Street Espresso. Fittingly, this peppy blend was crafted for those harried Wall Street traders who probably require the speed and convenience of a Nespresso coffee.
Keurig brewing devotees have a few more options. Along with the Wall Street blend, you can get a Stone Street’s French Roast, an Organic Dark Roast; the Knee Buckling Espresso; and three flavored brews: French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Chocolate Indulgence.
Brewing Methods – 5/5
Because Stone Street Coffee Company offers such a wide variety of coffees, you can find something suitable for any brewing method you choose, whether an espresso machine or a cold brew coffee maker. At the same time, many of their coffees are versatile enough to work with various brewers to make artisanal coffee.
Coffee is a matter of personal taste, but here are our recommendations for brewing methods for Stone Street coffee that will appeal to many coffee drinkers’ palates:
- Dark roasts: Dark roasted coffee usually has bold flavors, a heavy body, and a creamy mouthfeel. This makes it well suited to brewing methods that highlight these characteristics. Consider an immersion brewing method like a French press or Clever dripper; a pressure-based method like a Moka pot, espresso machine, or Aeropress; or even something old school like a percolator.
- Medium roasts: Medium roasts are the most versatile, and they do well with nearly every brewing method, including cold brewing and iced coffee. If you want coffee to please a crowd, a carafe of medium roast coffee prepared in an automatic coffee machine is always a great choice. Medium roasted blends can make incredible espresso, with brighter and nuttier flavors than dark roasts, while the single origins are wonderful when prepared as pour overs. Pour over brewing yields a clean cup that really showcases the more subtle flavors of the brew, a great way to taste the unique nature of a particular origin.
- Light roasts: The most popular brewing method for light roasted beans is the pour over, whether that’s a Hario V60, Chemex, Kalita Wave, or something else. Light roasts are known for having more subtle fruit and floral flavors as well as a brighter acidity. This makes them ideal for the lighter body of a pour over brew. If you have a cold brew coffee maker or even a mason jar, light roasts can also make delicious cold brew coffees, as this brewing method highlights their sweetness and tempers acidity. If you want the flavors of a light roast with a bit of a heavier body, an Aeropress or French press can also be a great choice. It’s difficult to dial in a light roast espresso, because it can easily be under-extracted and yield a sour or astringent brew. However, a less intense light roast can work. Try it with a finer than normal grind size.
Different Grind Sizes
While we would always suggest you buy whole roasted beans and grind them yourself for the best flavor, that isn’t always an option. Good coffee grinders are expensive, and grinding is noisy and time-consuming. Additionally, if you’re opting for a flavored brew, it can leave its flavor behind in your grinder, contaminating future beans. So this makes a case for buying pre-ground in some circumstances. You invest in a suitable storage container to keep your delicious coffee fresh.
If you’re buying pre-ground coffee beans, Stone Street Coffee Company offers grind size options depending on the brewing method.
For most of their beans, you can choose between whole bean, Coarse Ground Coffee (French Press), Medium Grind (Drip Coffee), and Fine Grind (Espresso). So make sure you have your brewing method in mind when placing your order.
The exception is the collection of cold brew coffee blends. These are only available in two formats, either whole bean or coarsely ground, for optimal extraction for cold brew coffee. Because cold brew coffee is brewed very slowly, optimal cold brew extraction requires a perfectly coarse grind coffee to avoid over-extraction. However, it would be nice if Stone Street offered other grind size options for their cold brew blends because I’ve made a very lovely espresso with the Cold Brew Boost beans. But you can only do this if you buy whole beans and have access to a quality espresso grinder.
Environmental Concerns and Sustainability – 2.5/5
While it’s clear that Stone Street Coffee Company is putting some thought into sustainability and sourcing, it doesn’t seem to be front and center with this brand the way it is with many others.
Most notably, Stone Street has some Rainforest Alliance certified coffees, but only three: the Mayan Water Decaf, the RFA Colombia, and the Rainforest Espresso. The Rainforest Alliance is a relatively rigorous holistic certification that says a product “was produced by farmers, foresters, and/or companies working together to create a world where people and nature thrive in harmony (7).” It doesn’t have specific requirements, like Organic or Fair Trade, but instead looks at the complete picture of how coffee was made. Stone Street also has two Fair Trade certified coffees, the Wall Street Blend and the Dark Blend.
These certifications are good steps, but they are only a beginning. And it is up to larger brands like Stone Street Coffee Company to take the lead. It would be nice to see more details highlighting how their coffee is produced. Is it organic or sustainably farmed? Shade-grown? Bird-friendly? Do they have relationships with the coffee farmers? Are they paying above or below Fair Trade prices? Do they give back in any way to communities at the origin?
Both climate change and income disparity are major factors in coffee production, and they’re only growing in importance (8). As Stone Street Coffee Company grows, they need to consider its positive and negative impacts.
Value for Money – 4/5
The value for money here is impressive. Stone Street’s Coffees fall at the low end of the price spectrum for a gourmet coffee. Bags of delicious coffee are all under $20 a pound, even for the single premium origins. This is already a fantastic price for artisanal coffee from a specialty small-batch roaster, but they also offer numerous discount options to net you some savings. It’s certainly a far cry from the prices at the local coffee shop.
The “3 Pack” deal is a great option, especially if it’s your first time buying from Stone Street Coffee Company. You can bundle any three coffees and get 10% off your order plus free shipping. Not only do you save money, but you can sample some different options to see what you like best. Or if you already have your favorites, you can buy coffee for family and friends.
They also offer a subscription option if you know what coffee you like and don’t ever want to risk running out. Stone Street will ship you coffee on a schedule of your choosing, and you save 10% on every order. Making artisanal coffee has never been more affordable.
Finally, there’s the “12 bags for 9” deal. Buy 12 bags of regularly priced coffee, and three come for free! For most of us, buying 12 bags of coffee at a time isn’t practical because it will go stale before you drink it. But if you’re shopping for an office or you can get together a group of friends to all buy at once, it’s an easy way to get a great deal!
Don’t Buy Stone Street Coffee Company If…
You want to try unusual single-origins: Stone Street Coffee has some tasty single-origin coffee beans, but they steer clear of unknown or emerging origins (9). For a bigger selection that will allow you to sample some less common growing regions, check out our Volcanica coffee review. Volcanica has options, like Dominican Red Honey Coffee or Yemen Peaberry, that excite your taste buds.
You want authentic Italian espresso: For a true taste of Italian espresso, it always pays to go with an Italian brand. Lavazza has been crafting traditional Italian style espresso blends for over 125 years. They’re the brand to turn to for the classic heavy-body espresso with Arabica and Robusta blended for a dense crema and bittersweet flavors.
Read our Lavazza Espresso Coffee Beans review for more interesting info.
You want organic coffee: Stone Street has some excellent Rainforest Alliance Certified options and a few organic beans, but if you’re on the hunt for a bigger selection of certified organic coffee, take a look at Lifeboost Coffee. All their beans are organic, and that’s just to start. They’re also third-party certified to be free of hundreds of other potential contaminants.
You care more about your budget than freshness: Even at affordable prices, Stone Street is slightly pricier than most grocery store coffee beans. Luckily, Trader Joe’s offer good and decent beans at low prices. They’re not as fresh as the ones you’ll score from local roasters, but they are cheap. We tried and tested almost every Trader Joe’s coffee variant there is and here are some of the best Trader Joe’s coffees we recommend.
Overall, Stone Street Coffee Company is an excellent option for all kinds of coffee lovers. With blends, single origins, flavored brews, decaf, coffee capsules, and roast levels from light to dark, they have something for everyone.
We don’t often find companies with this kind of reach and low prices maintaining high-quality standards. So Stone Street deserves credit for sticking to its ethos of small-batch roasting delicious coffee and sourcing only the best coffee beans worldwide.
- Myers, A. J. (2015, August 31). The dark side of coffee: an unequal social and environmental exchange. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/the-dark-side-of-coffee-an-unequal-social-and-environmental-exchange-46838
- Coffee Research Org. (n.d.). The Optimal Coffee Environment: Best Climate Conditions for Growing Coffee Beans. Retrieved from http://www.coffeeresearch.org/agriculture/environment.htm
- Denig, V. (2017, June 28). Does Coffee Have Terroir? Retrieved from https://vinepair.com/articles/does-coffee-have-terroir/
- Stern, G. (2021, January 8). Gourmet Chef Eric Ripert Partners With Stone Street Coffee To Create A New Blend. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/garystern/2021/01/08/gourmet-chef-eric-ripert-partners-with-stone-street-coffee-to-create-a-new-blend/?sh=1c9dbc4f7523
- Bensalhia, J. (2015, October 26). The Perfect Blend. The Evolution Of Italian Coffee Culture. Retrieved from https://www.italymagazine.com/featured-story/perfect-blend-evolution-italian-coffee-culture
- Stone Street Coffee Company. (2021, May 18). Stone Street Coffee Introduces Their High Caffeine Cold Brew. Retrieved from https://www.wfmz.com/news/pr_newswire/pr_newswire_food_beverages/stone-street-coffee-introduces-their-high-caffeine-cold-brew/article_0afa30da-42de-5129-a1ee-26c9d415f776.html
- Rainforest Alliance. (2021, August 26). Rainforest Alliance Certified Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/insights/rainforest-alliance-certified-coffee/
- Wiener-Bronner, D. (2022, January 26). Climate change is coming for our coffee. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/26/business/coffee-climate-change/index.html
- Charles, S. (2020, February 18). The Emerging Specialty Coffee Regions to Pay Attention To. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/02/emerging-regions-in-specialty-coffee-production/