Swiss Water Coffee Studio storefront located at 300 Lafayette Street, Manhattan
At Untapped Cities, we’re usually not that surprised when we hear about another unique and quirky coffee shop in New York City considering there are so many already with a creative bent. But this is quite a new one: as reported in The Washington Post, Swiss Water Coffee Studio has opened a pop-up coffee studio in NoHo that gives away for free – brace yourself – exclusively decaffeinated coffee. Given the many aggressive and outright hateful reactions to the store’s existence, we were surprised to learn that the studio’s intention is not to destroy one of nature’s greatest gift to man, but rather to spread knowledge about greener and cleaner ways to create decaffeinated coffee.
The normal process of removing caffeine involves rinsing solvent coffee beans for 10 hours with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. Headquartered in Vancouver, Swiss Water uses a unique and completely safe method to remove caffeine from coffee, 100% chemical free. Its process uses water and green coffee extract. According to the Swiss Water website, “first, we start with small batches of amazing coffee and green coffee extract. Then we add local water and a dash of loving attention by monitoring time and temperature until the coffee is 99.9% caffeine free.” For more on their green process, check out this video.
The purpose of the New York City pop-up shop is to create an experience for coffee lovers to appreciate the unique and distinct blends of different coffees without dealing with the side effects of caffeine – an experience they have tagged as the “Art of Coffee Without Caffeine.” On their pamphlets, they state its “coffee worth getting excited about (not just excited by).”
The pop-up SoHo shop is tucked away in a revamped old gas station right as you come out of the Lafayette/Houston exit of the 6 Line subway in NoHo. It’s an open space equipped with all the trendy accoutrements necessary to make a decaf coffee shop appealing: DJ booth, cool seating areas, interesting local art and various fun coffee stations.
The studio will be open for the week with a musical performance by local artist, Hollerado on November 5th. If you can’t make it to their pop-up, you can still find Swiss Water Coffee in a variety of coffee shops and grocery stores near you by using this store locator.