Greenstreet Coffee Co

A decaf piccolo with amazing latte art from Greenstreet Coffee Co, PhiladelphiaGreenstreet Coffee Co is something of a fixture in the fledgling Philadelphia speciality coffee scene. It’s been around for five years as a roaster, supplying local cafés such as Cafe Twelve. Two years ago, it opened its first (and so far only) coffee shop on the corner of Spruce and S 11th Streets, just south of the centre where it joins a growing band of speciality coffee places.

Greenstreet itself is pretty small, with just enough room for a couple of small rows of tables along the windows and some more seating outside. Although the interior is lovely and the outdoor seating’s some of the most comfortable-looking that I’ve seen in a while, the real draw is the coffee, with a wide range of Greensmith’s considerable output available at any one time.

During my visit, there were two single-origins on espresso plus the house-blend, Lupara, and a decaf, Starlight, all on a pair of twin grinders. The two single-origins were also available as filter, where they were joined by another four single-origins, to be enjoyed through either Aeropress or Chemex. There’s also a Syphon option on the menu, plus cold brew and nitro cold brew. Even the tea selection’s decent!

March 2018: Popped bak to say hi to Greenstreet, which is still as awesome as ever and still offering the same excellent range of coffees. This time I tried a Chemex of an Ethiopian Kilenso, a wonderfully fruity, naturally processed coffee.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Greenstreet Coffee Co on the corner of Spruce Street and S 11th Street in Philadelphia.
  • No turn on red? No turn on red? No option then: better go through the door!
  • Alternatively, you could sit outside on either Spruce St (left) or 11th St (right).
  • The Spruce Street outdoor seating...
  • ... and another pair of tables on S 11th Street.
  • Greenstreet is not afraid to use its A-board to advertise its speciality coffee status.
  • Stepping inside, the (panoramic) view from the door. There is seating to the left and right.
  • The seating to the left on the Spruce Street side...
  • ... and the view from there back towards the door and the 11th St seating.
  • Greenstreet has a lovely ceiling, complete with fans and amazing lights.
  • The cut-out design represents the heat, rising from the roaster...
  • ... while the counter below is in red, the design here repreresenting the roaster's flames.
  • A similar motif continues on the base of the stools.
  • The walls, meanwhile, are hung with pictures, some of the roastery...
  • ... plus the drinks menu.
  • Meanwhile, Greenstreet's coffee credentials are laid out for all to see on the counter...
  • .... with the tea (left) & coffee (right) with a choice of five single-origins & an espresso blend.
  • More of Greenstreet's coffee credentials: beans and kit for sale on a shelf on the back wall.
  • Even the till is nifty: just fip the tablet over when the customer needs to enter something!
  • There's water on tap on the counter too.
  • My espresso, bathed in early spring sunshine...
  • ... which I followed up with a decaf cortado. Amazing latte art!
  • A sign that the milk's been well-steamed is when the pattern holds to the bottom of the cup.
  • And I mean all the way to the bottom...
  • ... see?
  • Finally I was plied with some nitro cold brew.
  • I love the way that the bubbles clear, much in the way a crema dissipates on an espresso.
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Greenstreet, with its deep-red paintwork, cuts a striking figure on the corner of Spruce and S 11th Streets, enhanced by the tall, thin windows which can be fully opened in the warm weather, effectively turning Greenstreet into a (semi) open-air café. If you’re tempted by this, you can always go the whole hog and sit outside. There’s a pair of two-person wire-mesh tables on either side, with some very comfortable-looking chairs. Sadly the streets aren’t as quiet as the likes of Rival Bros.

Greenstreet’s essentially square, the corner cut off by the door. Inside, this is replicated by the counter, which occupies the corner opposite the door and also has the corner facing the door cut off. This is excellent, since you walk in to find the barista directly in front of you!

Windows, lined with seating, run the full length of the walls to left and right, flooding Greenstreet with light.  Although the walls look similar in length, to the right there are four small, three-sided tables, while to the left, only three. The tables on the 11th Street (right-hand) side run along a wooden bench, each table having its own stool, while those on the Spruce Street (left-hand) side, run directly along the window, with just four stools for seating. Pleasingly for somewhere so small, ample power outlets line both walls and there’s free Wifi.

In contrast to the red exterior, the interior is green, with a warm yellow ceiling. However, the skirting is red, while the windows have 15 small panes, each with its own red frame. It’s a surprisingly harmonious colour scheme, particularly in sunlight. The final touch comes with the counter, a metal affair with a marble top, fronted with red metalwork cut to represent the flames of a coffee roaster. Three long, three-sided metal light shades hang down from the high ceiling above the counter, representing the heat rising from the roaster.

The counter is organised around the two-group La Marzocco, which is front and centre, till and cake to the right, water tap and two twin espresso grinders to the left. Although there’s not much space behind the counter, Greenstreet still finds room for the obligatory bulk-brew (one of the six single-origins on offer, changing every few days), plus pour-over, with enough space left over for dishwashing!

My barista recommended the Kellensoo single-origin, from the Sidamo region of Ethiopia, as an espresso. This was lovely: very smooth, with a great, velvety texture. Although a little fruity for my palette, I couldn’t really fault it. I’d have loved to try it as a filter, but I was rather over-caffeinated, so followed it up with a decaf cortado with some amazing latte art. It was so pretty I didn’t want to drink it. I left it for a while, hoping the pattern would disperse so that I wouldn’t feel guilty, but the milk was so superbly steamed that it held its pattern right to the bottom of the glass. The coffee itself was very smooth, forming a harmonious whole with the milk.

Finally, I was tempted by the offer of nitro cold brew: brewed for 18 hours then served under pressure with nitrogen, it came out of the tap like beer. While I’m not cold brew fan, I liked this one, which was very smooth.

1101 SPRUCE STREET • PHILADELPHIA • PA 19107 • USA +1 610 504 3934
Monday 06:00 – 20:00 Roaster Greenstreet (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 06:00 – 20:00 Seating Benches, Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 06:00 – 20:00 Food Cake
Thursday 06:00 – 20:00 Service Counter
Friday 06:00 – 20:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 07:00 – 20:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 08:00 – 20:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 11th March 2015, 4th March 2018

Liked this? Then take a look at the Coffee Spot Guide to Philadelphia for more great coffee Spots.

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