Black River Roasters is a local coffee shop / business located on Route 22 in Whitehouse Station, NJ (which is technically Readington, NJ). A few hundred feet to the west of Oldwick Road (which is also referred to as County Road 523). They’ve been open for about three years.
Before we continue – here is what they describe themselves as:
“Black River Roasters is an artisan coffee-roasting company that specializes in organic and Fair Trade certified coffees as well as ultra-premium coffees sourced from small-yield cooperatives and estates. We maintain the highest level of quality control while roasting our coffees, ensuring a cup that never tastes bitter or burned. Our goal is to provide you with the finest cup of coffee in the most environmentally friendly way. At our roasting facility, we ship coffee to wholesale and online clients. We have a cafe in the same building. You can see us roast while enjoying a cup of our coffee.”
Black River Roasters is for coffee aficionados (perfectionists?)
As humanity plugs along – “things” naturally become more granular and detailed. (Also thanks to the internet – we can find everything and are not limited to word of mouth or just books at the local library.) People these days are more like specialists of a little, than jacks of all trades. As such, with almost anything under the sun, you’ll find hard-core “experts” who have uncovered almost all there is to uncover regarding whatever it is. Wine. Cooking. Woodworking. And of course coffee.
Black River Roasters covers all the bases for what is trendy today. Small batches. Artisan. Organic. Fair Trade. Environmental. They’ve gone all-in on “perfecting” the art of coffee, as well as the feel-good aspect of doing it in a way that leaves nothing to be offended by.
And they certainly have a market that equally enjoys the product as much as they enjoy providing it for customers.
A nice coffee cafe to take a break
If you want to meet up with a friend, or just take a load off and get out of the house, the Black River Roasters cafe is a decent place to chill out.
Their upstairs room has space for a couple dozen people. Chairs and some tables you can even bust out your laptop and get some work done. Free WiFi is available on the premesis. There are a few outdoor spots as well.
They also offer typical sweet treats to go along with your coffee, often from other local kitchens.
In addition, they sell accessories and other coffee-related merchandise (mugs, coffee makers, etc.) It’s a full-blown retail operation, with gift cards, baskets, coffee subscriptions, online ordering, and much more.
Monthly Events at Black River Roasters
On top of all that – they complete the business by hosting various events each month.
Some of the events are hosted by themselves – where they teach you how to make homebrews, or learn about “cupping,” etc.
There is also a trivia night, along with other events hosted by guests – like how to create handmade cards or even some serious life-coaching.
It should be noted that most events require that you purchase tickets. There are some that are free, like open mic night and “story slam.”
Overall – Black River Roasters is a good local destination
Local destinations are sorely needed in our culture. We need to support them, even if they’re not 100% your “cup of tea.” Because if we didn’t, all of Route 22 would become strip malls with Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
That said – we make a point to stop by here at least a few times a year as a token of support.
Our wallets tell us otherwise, however. There is a price to pay for coffee perfection that prevents us from visiting more often. We do appreciate all the effort put into this art – but it results in a much higher tab once you pay the bill here. Thankfully, there are still willing paying customers! Maybe our fortunes will change one day 🙂
Luckily, we’re okay with almost any coffee, believe it or not (no wine snobbery or coffee snobbery in this house!) Even instant! We buy our instant coffee over at ALDI – $3.00 for 120 (one hundred and twenty) cups of coffee. The math is staggering.
Artisan Coffee in Whitehouse
An independent local coffee shop is important to patronize, regardless of whether it’s “Artisan” or not. Local businesses are the backbone of this country. While we wish Black River Roasters was a bit more affordable, we still are glad to support them when we can. Their hours are also a bit too limited, especially for night dwellers. Closing at 6 pm on weekdays and 4 pm on weekends is a bit too early for us! Missed opportunities for them?