I got my first Java Love buzz a couple of months ago, and I haven’t stopped jonesing for another fix.
Luckily for me, and every other coffee connoisseur in Baristaville, the Java Love Coffee Roasting Co. just opened a charming cafe at 244 Bellevue Avenue in Upper Monclair.
Java Love owners Jodie Dawson and Kristine Petrik, Montclair locals, have been hand roasting organic, fair trade, and rainforest alliance certified coffee beans in 25 pound batches at their shop in the Catskills for a couple of years, waiting for the right time to establish a shop in our area.
“We love Montclair, and have been wanting to open a cafe to create a gathering place that supports the community and local artisans,” says Dawson. Java Love accomplishes that through agreements with area businesses to carry each others products. The shop has such arrangements with Montclair Bread Company, Little Daisy Bake Shop, Yogic Chai, The Chocolate Path, Donna & Company chocolates, and Five Acre Farms. They also sell mugs by local potter Carla Horowitz, and tees, coffee cozies, and aprons with the fun and funky Java Love logo, created by local graphic designer Tracey Diamond.
The café, located in the former Crookhorns space, is decorated with a sparkling chandelier at the entrance and reclaimed wood of varying hues fixed to the walls. “I like the contrast of elegant with rustic,” says Dawson. Java Love coffee beans also come in strikingly different styles and flavors. Judging from their Facebook page, Bad Ass blend is a favorite among customers, along with Rwanda and Premium House Blend. I love the rich Espresso Blend and the smooth Cold Brew, which is crafted specifically for iced coffee drinks.
Dawson and Petrik believe that when it comes to quality coffee, freshness is everything. That’s why they personally drop in on their coffee brokers to inspect and select beans–practically right off the boat. Not many roasters select their inventory so directly.
The partners even visited Hacienda La Minita in Costa Rica last fall to witness the coffee bean growing and harvesting process. Here’s a video of their coffee journey: