For some, a cup a coffee is a means to an end: it’s the proverbial fuel that jettisons them into a week of (hopeful) productivity and creation. In soggy paper cups in the dim light of 7-Elevens at dawn from the Folgers drip at home, most don’t discriminate.
This probably won’t surprise you even a little bit, but I do. I expect a lot from my morning, mid-day and afternoon cup of coffee. Blame the college years spent working as a barista or my propensity to do everything the most difficult way possible, but I don’t feel that coffee should get a free pass for the sake of convenience. While I do take my coffee with cream, a well-brewed cup of coffee made from well-roasted beans at the right grind needs nothing but maybe a good donut to nibble between sips.
From drip to donut, Glen Edith Coffee Roasters understands this. In their short time in Rochester, they’ve managed to become a mainstay in the third wave coffee community. With their coffee beans hand-selected responsibly and roasted on-site, the dually located shop offers coffees, tea, lattes, and a selection of beverages with a precision so notable that it’s clearly down to a science.
But despite the high-brow products, the only noses you’ll find in the air will be the ones inhaling the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or chewy, caramelized waffles. Despite what you hear about third-wave coffee shops, that’s just not what Glen Edith is about.
“We want to make good coffee, and we want it to be accessible to everyone,” said John, Glen Edith’s co-owner. “Even if that means adding milk.”
Indeed, if you frequent one of Glen Edith’s two locations, you’ll notice that the spot is more of a community hub than anything. Chowing down on donuts on weekends or avocado toasts on gloomy Wednesday afternoons, families, students, and friends flock to the shop to convene over cups of freshly brewed chemex drips or subtly sweet cardamom lavender lattes.
And when it comes to their coffee, the team at Glen Edith doesn’t mess around. Sapphire, the director of coffee, knows a thing or two about good brews. Starting ten years ago as a Wegmans barista, she found herself fascinated with the world of coffee, and strove to learn everything she could, from beans to brewing techniques. After eleven years in varying positions with Wegmans, she knew she needed to continue to grow and learn. She then went to work with Joe Bean, another third wave establishment generating buzz in Rochester’s coffee scene.
Now, with Glen Edith, Sapphire is able to truly nerd out on her passion. From tastings to scouting sustainably sourced products, finding the right products for Glen Edith is a full-time job.
A lot goes into a good cup of coffee. From flavor, balance, aroma to complexity, there are a number of factors to consider. For Sapphire and the team, value is knowing what the product’s story. From supporting a Rwandan, all female-owned coffee farm to working with fair trade importers, customers value Glen Edith’s investment in people just as much as they do in delicious coffee and food.
“It’s not just about flavor and aroma — which is definitely important,” she said. “But it’s also about making an impact.”
And it’s not just their coffee drinks that are making an impact in Rochester. If you’ve been poking around the internet or just about any coffee shop, you’ll notice a bit of a donut revolution taking hold. About eight months ago, Glen Edith hired baker Rae Cody to start a baking program of sorts for the shops. Over the course of a few short months, Cody’s weekend offering inspired donut flavors have become a mainstay for weekend warriors and Sunday school slackers alike. From their perfectly risen texture to their Instagram-worthy appearances, the donuts have made their rounds.
“We’ve even had people request donuts for weddings,” Jordan, Glenn Edith’s food director told me.
Officially called BXCR, the donut journey doesn’t end there. In the coming months, BXCR will be opening a storefront of its own at the public market, where they’ll serve craft cocktails, fried chicken — and, of course, donuts.