For PK Coffee that opened last year in Stowe, Vermont and recently moved to Waterbury, Vermont, it’s all about the milk. Nothing unexpected for a tiny mountain town that believes full throttle in healthy living, living off the land and paying extra attention to any kind of bad chemical processing plaguing the food industry. And so, the PK Coffee owners, Katrina Veerman and Matt Carrell, decided it was time to highlight this very community – the local purveyors of the beautiful off white liquid.
“Most people don’t think twice about where their milk comes from, but Matt and I really do. Simply because milk is such a big part of how many of us choose to enjoy our coffee and also because milk is so synonymous with Vermont,” says Veerman. “We wanted to make sure that if we were going to use cow milk, that we found a farm where the cows were really well treated.” And so they found Sweet Rowan in West Glover (with a little herd of heritage lineback cows), who has milk that is gently pasteurized with a creamy top that is sweet and rich, but never heavy. “It’s not inexpensive, but we love knowing that we’re supporting a local purveyor whose owners are dedicated to community as much as we are to ours,” says Veerman. “And, really, we are all part of the same community.”
“Community excites me,” says Carrell. “Specialty coffee, PK Coffee can’t exist without community and it is great to see the support PK Coffee has. There are a few other specialty coffee shops in the area that really want to support each other. There seems to be an instant connection when you meet someone from the specialty coffee world and I believe that Vermont community exhibits those qualities as well.” The state of Vermont is pretty new to specialty coffee and PK Coffee is bringing the coffee community together – in the mountains no less.
Vermont seemed to always be waiting for this duo. Veerman and Carrell started this journey of coffee adoration many years ago. Veerman drank coffee-colored milk with her dad at age three, and then as an adult watched the coffee pioneers handle San Francisco when she lived there. Carrell, on the other hand was a tea drinker, and fell in love with coffee whilst in Belize where he had fresh coffee for the first time at the Gallon Jug Plantation. “We connected a few years ago over a desire to create a space where anyone could experience great state of the art coffee with the best milk on the planet,” smiles Veerman. And the rest, as they say, is history. Or is that – history in the making?
So they opened up a little cafe in the Waterbury Village Historic District – because let’s face it, every neighborhood needs a great cafe. They now partner with Counter Culture for their beans and spend a lot of time doing in depth trainings which Carrell calls “unmatched educational opportunities.”
And they serve all these learnings on a La Marzocco, of course. But then they also use a semi automatic Linea with Pierro caps and are about to start making coffee on a GB5 – which both Veerman and Carrell were simply longing for. They also use other products from Marco (water tower), Simonelli and, naturally, Mahlkonig grinders.“When we began to study coffee, we tasted many coffees prepared in a lot of different ways and we found that espresso spoke to us,” says Veerman. “The training, preparation, precision, care, presentation and effort it takes to serve a great espresso-based drink spoke to us. And, like individually prepared pour overs (which we also do), it is a very personal experience to have someone prepare a drink that is just for you.”
Even though they are such milk aficionados they also appreciate the beauty of keeping things pure – and milkless. “While 83% (USA Today) of Americans drink coffee, many of them haven’t tasted a perfectly balanced shot of espresso or a pour-over so richly flavored and satisfying that you’d never dream of pouring cream and sugar into it,” says Veerman. “When they do – we’re betting they are never going to be able to forget it. For that reason, it’s a wide open world. Those of us in the third wave coffee movement are at the bleeding edge of coffee.”
Come check out PK Coffee located at 40 Foundry Street in Waterbury, Vermont. Or of course check out their website at pkcoffee.com