Despite his initial reluctance to do so, Pour Cleveland
owner Charlie Eisenstat is launching his own small-batch roastery, which will sell a small line of high quality coffees.
“It was never really my intention when I started Pour to get into roasting,” explains Eisenstat. “But once we made the switch to being a multi-roaster shop that dabbled in lots of international and award-winning roasters, we’ve been sent hundreds of samples from different coffee roasters all over the world. After trying so many different coffees and approaches to roasting it sort of developed into this underlying desire to put our own stamp on coffee and put our own product out there.”
Eisenstat, who opened the highly regarded downtown shop nearly five years ago, says that both he and his clientele have settled into a preference for Nordic-style roasting, which leans to lighter and more acidity-driven coffees than American-style, where fuller, sweeter brews are the norm.
“In our opinion they are more exciting to drink,” he says of Nordic-style coffees.
The boutique roastery is located at 807 Literary in Tremont, a small storefront across the street from Barrio. Only a few permits separate Pour Coffee Co., as the venture is called, from its opening day. Eisenstat says the focus will be on creating a few “extremely high quality coffees” for sale to wholesale customers. While the space will not be open to walk-in customers on a regular basis, it might open a day a week down the road.
“It’s a pretty small space, so I have no intent to open a retail café, but it will be a nice showroom for what we do and can do with our coffees, and for customers to come in for training and to try stuff out,” he says.
Pour Cleveland, a separate entity, will continue to serve single-origin coffees that you can’t get anywhere else, but will replace the main coffees with product from Pour Coffee Co.
This Thanksgiving will mark five years for Pour, and Eisenstat surely has had a hand in helping the local coffee scene mature.
“The Cleveland coffee scene is way different and improved since we opened up,” he says. “It was really difficult at first to break down that language barrier of people who, for the most part, were only familiar with Starbucks.”
Early on, customers were baffled by terms like pour-over, long service times and relatively steep price points.
“We have a more sophisticated customer base these days who can taste the difference in quality and understand why it costs more. People are really into what we do and are excited that we’re here.”