Monday, March 30, 2009
Coffee Research and Deco in Buffalo NY
As I mentioned in an earlier post, last week I attended the MIT Industrial Liaison Program's Europe Conference in Vienna. One of the people I met does R&D for Illy Coffee in Trieste and so we talked a little bit about coffee research. He knew about my favorite San Francisco (sorry, Berkeley) coffee Peets, but (incredibly!) had not heard the story of Buffalo NY's Deco coffee.
Deco was a famous chain of diner restaurants that claimed to have Buffalo's best cup of coffee. They developed a special blend in New York City that tasted great, but when they brewed it in Buffalo it tasted awful. They quickly figured-out that it was because the water was different, so they brought Buffalo water to New York and repeated the process. I never drank Deco coffee, but when my parents owned an art gallery next door to a Deco on Elmwood Avenue, they did, and I remember the nice glass jar cups - much better than Styrofoam.
There's a nice history of Deco Coffee including the take out cups on the Buffalo History Works website. That's where I first read the story and where the illustration comes from.