Bean & Bean’s Women-Led, Eco-Friendly Approach to Coffee Is Quite the Jolt
Tucked neatly above a UPS store on the corner of Broadway and Rector is Bean & Bean, a hidden gem of a coffee shop with thoughtfully sourced brews, one-of-a-kind artwork and all the baked goods one desires.
Since 2008, Jiyoon Han and her mother Rachel have been serving curated coffees from around the world inside their Lower Manhattan location (71 Broadway). The Alliance recently stopped by to chat with co-founder Han about Bean & Bean’s operation, and to try out some specialty brews and snacks.
“In our coffee sourcing ethos, we really try to prioritize relationships with coffee producers who are women,” Han explained. “So we buy more than half of our coffee from farms and cooperatives that are women-owned or women-led.” The brand is also thoughtful about their impact on the environment. Customers will no doubt notice the purple sloth that adorns much of the Bean & Bean merch, cups and decor, a reminder of coffee-rich areas’ natural inhabitants.
Han explained that rainforest-protected coffee farms provide a shelter for sloths and pointed us towards one of the many posters in the cafe by artist Subin Yang; this one features plenty of sloth fun facts and information about the ecological relationship between coffee producers and the adorably sluggish tree-dwellers. Besides making the creature their mascot, Bean & Bean also donates a percentage of their online sales to the Sloth Institute.
In addition to the company’s laudable social missions, the food and drinks are really tasty. Han treated us to several brews, a few specialty drinks and a few savory treats.
Lastly, here’s what to order next time you’re in need of a pick-me-up.
Peach butterfly pea tea
This mesmerizing, violet drink with a swirl of peach syrup gets its colors from dried-blue butterfly pea flowers steeped in hot water. It’s a refreshing botanical beverage that’s (bonus!) not even caffeinated, so you can order one in the late afternoon without risking staying up until the wee hours.
This smooth, iced latte made with espresso, milk and honey powder is sweet without the overkill. You can order it hot or iced with any kind of milk you want.
This perfectly toasted bread piled high with luscious avocado, crumbly feta and fresh tomatoes defies the millennial cliche. Add a poached egg for a particularly decadent start to the day; just be sure to grab a few napkins before digging in.
Nutella-stuffed banana bread
I mean, need we say more? If you’re bringing treats for the whole office, we’d also suggest grabbing a butter scone, gluten-free marble loaf, and a container of the organic oatmeal with fruit. Han shared that it’s her mom’s recipe, and that it’s been a popular pick since Bean & Bean first opened their doors 15 years ago. The rest of the pastries are sourced from the Hungry Gnome, another NYC-based, woman-owned business.
Panama’s Janson Gesha coffee
First thing’s first; You get a free drink when you purchase a bag of coffee. That’s reason enough to buy this award-winning blend from the Janson Coffee Farm in Panama. It’s of the Gesha variety, which is widely considered one of the best coffees in the world. You’ll taste sweet, citrusy and slightly floral notes that’s a surefire winner to gift for any of the coffee lovers in your life.Tags: bean and bean