Black & Brass Coffee brought superior coffee to the Poconos in Pennsylvania. That’s pretty much God’s work



Small town Pennsylvania deserves great coffee. After all, they just had Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts (spottily) or some tripled dark roasted taint that people drank out of habit; not proper enjoyment. And so Honesdale, just little hop (and maybe an extra skip) from New York state, delivered the goods with Black & Brass Coffee. 


Casual, and the antithesis of hipsterdom, Black & Brass was opened by Southern California native Travis Rivera. For him the Maple City is “booming” and Wayne County brought him closer to family — and tasked him to bring coffee to its beautiful growth, of course. The cafe itself, plus roaster, compliments the town in that way — neither are trying to be cool or have a “curated” experience or even an opinion that “needs to be put out there.” Nope, it’s just a place to drink fantastic coffee as it was always intended. Oh, and then there are the local cows that supply the milk and some locals make the pastries and deliver it all, by foot no less. You can’t make this up.


Historic downtown Honesdale is, according to Rivera, “the perfect setting for artisan specialty businesses.” He calls it “the perfect meeting place for locals and a new destination for tourists and travelers.” And as Rivera says, they get all types here: “The morning crowds like their coffee strong, and they like to get it quickly so they can be on their way. Our afternoon customers usually stick around for a bit, sipping on a drink and enjoying some conversation, or listening to classic albums on vinyl.” Who knew? Honesdale, PA, warm and fuzzy right? 





And, as we’ve seen with the tremendous growth of Austin, and then Richmond, Nashville, Savannah and Pittsburgh – the secondary city is more significant than ever. More people are moving out of New Jersey, New York and Illinois than are moving in according to the annual list compiled by United Van Lines, a moving company (so they should know) that has put together an annual survey of where Americans are moving for the last 38 years. Oregon, with Portland’s appeal of walkable neighborhoods, public transport and cuisine, is at the top of the moving-in list. Next on the list are states South and then North Carolina, with cities like Charleston and Asheville receiving the love. And where there are people, there must be coffee. And, hopefully, some will demand the coffee be absolutely excellent. Honesdale, hello. 


Rivera was happy to show this developing town what amazing coffee could taste like –- and of course, in essence, to have a place where locals can come and kvetch. 


“One of the aspects of Black & Brass that makes it unique is its involvement and emphasis on our community. On the surface, we supply a quality product and help support the local economy,” he says. “But underneath, there is so much more — performances by local musicians, local artist spotlights, workshops, poetry and story readings, comedy shows, etc. We’ve created a true communal space to help lift others, share knowledge and art, and craft a more vibrant community,” Rivera says. 


“I started as a barista, learning the ways of coffee culture and discovering what people liked and disliked about coffee,” smiles Rivera. “I then began roasting, dipping my toes further into the wide world of coffee and really getting a feel for different beans, roasts, blends, etc.” And now he owns this full service coffee roasting company that takes coffee from raw bean (almost) straight to the cups of willing drinkers. And all in quiet country Pennsylvania. 


One county over, in New York state, is where North Branch Inn opened its doors a few years ago — that perfect, ex-Manhattanite-moving-upstate-to-do-something-amazing story. They are one of the local businesses who use Black & Brass. According to the Inn, they were looking for something amazing and most definitely local. For them, Rivera says, he helped “craft their own unique and special blend that suited their taste.” 


The name, Black & Brass, comes from their beautiful roaster, with its bold brass face and satin black finish. “All of our roasting is done in a state of the art Diedrich roaster IR 12, which was hand built in the USA months before opening, “ shares Rivera. “As for our other equipment, we stick to the tried and true brands and models found in some of the most successful cafes.”


But besides for machines, the next must-know question is always where the beans all come from. Rivera says, “Our raw coffee beans come from a variety of places around the world: from Central and South America, to Africa, to SouthEast Asia,” he shares. “We use only the highest quality beans and select each variety with the end result in mind.” 


The original cafe is located at 520 Main Street, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. They’ve since opened two other locations in the Poconos region, one in Hawley and one in Lake Ariel. 


Find them on Facebook and Instagram at Black & Brass Coffee.