Coffee

Wake up with the Director of Education at Partners Coffee – Allie Caran

By ALYSSA HOLDER

AllieCaran_HeadShot

Die hard iced coffee drinkers would disagree but for Allie Caran, Director of Education at Partners Coffee, her day doesn’t commence without a hot cup of jo and a splash of leche. Since 2012 Allie has been nurturing the coffee culture at Brooklyn-based specialty coffee company Partners Coffee. Basically she is the go to person for any and all of your coffee questions. As the Director of Education, she leads educational offerings at the Brew School, wholesale barista training programs and more.

When she’s not teaching us about the benefits of coffee, Allie spends her time creating “toad in a hole” breakfast for her 4 year old son, going for walks with her Frenchie and cherishing her alone time during the pandemic.

We’ve sat down with her to get a little more behind-the-scenes on Allie and her morning routine.

Morning Routine

What are you brewing? Brooklyn Blend from Partners. I’m the kind of person who cannot get out of bed unless I have had a cup of hot coffee (with a splash of milk)

What are you listening to Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin.

Who is your dream coffee date? Myself I cherish alone-time and throughout my entire coffee drinking life, my favorite coffee shop company was myself.

What’s your must-have for mornings?  Breakfast! My son starts the day much earlier than I would prefer, so early morning breakfast is a must. I usually cook a toad-in-a-hole for him and have a slice of toast for myself. I’ve found that this morning ritual of cooking and eating breakfast  is the best time for me to collect my thoughts and focus on the upcoming day. 

What is your favorite morning distraction? Smudging everything with a little Palo Santo.

What does your absolute best morning look like? The best mornings usually have a few of these things in them. Slow wake ups to hot coffee, walks with my son and my Frenchie, big breakfasts, perfect park weather and plant shopping. 

Coffee

AllieCaran_BrewSchool Image Courtesy Kathryn Sheldon

AllieCaran_BrewSchool – Image Courtesy Kathryn Sheldon

Favorite Way to Brew Coffee: Pour Over Method

At Partners, our favorite (and my personal favorite!) method of manual brewing is a pour-over. We use Hario V60’s to brew individual cups – V60s are manufactured in Japan and the name refers to the shape (V) and angle of slope (60°). The curved grooves inside help with even extraction. They’re very affordable and easy to use – I cannot recommend them enough!

Allie’s Morning Coffee Recipe.

Ingredients

  • 23g Fine-Medium Ground Coffee 
  • 360g Hot Water

Step 1: Fold and wet filter in brewer. Add coffee and shake gently ensuring there is a flat even bed of grounds.

Step 2: Place on scale. Tare scale, start timer. Slowly pour hot water using a circular motion, avoiding the sides when possible.

Step 3: Brew is complete when the scale reaches 360g and should complete at approximately 3 minutes.

Career.

PartnersCoffee_Outdoors

Partners Coffee_Outdoors  Image Courtesy Kathryn Sheldon

How did you break into your industry and start your career? I grew up in New Jersey and some of my favorite childhood memories are of sitting in a diner with my dad. I’d drink half of the small creamers and fill the rest up with coffee! Years later, I was living in Baltimore and had a chance to try out a Synesso espresso machine – the machine was owned by a notable chef who was opening a restaurant in Baltimore – and I was hooked. I ended up working with that restaurant as their Director of Coffee, and I’ve been in coffee education ever since. 

How has Partners Coffee been impacted by COVID-19? Like so many small businesses, it’s been a tough few months for us. Back in mid-March, we made the difficult decision to close our six NYC cafés – it was a heartbreaking decision, but we knew it was for the best.

In the past two weeks, we reopened our flagship cafe in Williamsburg, our LIC and West Village cafes have contactless pickup, delivery and a new grocery section selling items like eggs, bread, and pantry staples from local producers. The response has been incredible so far, and we’re really excited to be back serving the community! 

What are some changes the company has made? Of course, we’re operating fully contact less.

Also, we reopened a few of our cafes with a new grocery section, where folks can pick up staples from local producers. We’re working with a few of our close partners to offer basics, like oat milk from Califia Farms, as well as specialty goods like frozen pizzas from our friends at Roberta’s. The goal of the grocery is to offer our community a safe, convenient option to grab a coffee and a few staples to-go, without having to make a big trip to the grocery store. We’re still figuring things out along the way, but have been really pleased with the community response so far!

What’s your favorite part of your job? I have always loved the hospitality and service aspect of coffee. It allows me to meet new people, explore different projects and has allowed me to work with some of the brightest and most brilliant coffee people. 

What sets Partners Coffee apart from its competitors? At Partners Coffee, we really strive to make sophisticated and complex coffees approachable and accessible by putting an emphasis on educational programs for wholesale clients and consumers alike. We also have an unwavering commitment to coffee integrity when it comes to sourcing and roasting quality coffee. Our strong, personal relationships with  farmers, producers, baristas, roasters, businesses, and customers have helped us grow and nurture a shared coffee culture and experience. 

What are you currently working on? Personally, I have been trying to make more time for art and have been trying to carve out a little time at night to draw. Professionally, I am helping develop our cafe markets with an emphasis on sustainability and local sourcing. 

What’s your favorite way to relax? I really love gardening and cooking, but there are a few logistical constraints in Brooklyn! I have a tiny fire escape garden, and I am able to use some of the fruits of my labor in meals. 

What’s one thing people don’t know about you? I began my career in specialty coffee while I was working in Baltimore as a glassblower! 

What does the future hold for you? Good question! Things are still so uncertain, but I’m trying to think positively. I hope my future holds many more great cups of coffee shared with family, friends, coworkers and the amazing Partners Coffee community that we’ve built here in NYC.

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