Leni Calabrese considers himself a “café” person, preferring to relax or socialize with friends over a good cup of coffee rather than drinks at a bar. This pastime turned into a passion when Leni left the frenetic pace of the New York City advertising world to pursue other careers. A stint as a barista peaked his interest in coffee and it wasn’t long before he purchased his own roaster and created Perfect Day Coffee, the Doylestown Food Market’s December Producer of the Month. Join us for a cupping with Leni at Doylestown Food Market on Saturday, December 3 and Saturday, December 17th from 10 am to noon.
Perfect Day Coffee is a certified organic roastery located in Frenchtown New Jersey. Leni currently produces 500 pounds of coffee per week, which he sells to natural food stores like Doylestown Food Market, as well as restaurants including the Peasant Grill in Hopewell, New Jersey and Max Hansen Caterer in Carversville, Pennsylvania. He also maintains a steady Internet clientele.
Perfect Day sources its coffee beans from organic growers in Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, and Bali, among other regions. Two of the co-ops that Leni works with are woman-owned. He insists on beans that are grown on volcanic rock at high altitudes, dried on raised beds with the outer coating still on them and then hand-picked. Leni prides himself on his ability to bring out the flavor in the beans that he roasts.
“Coffee has more than 1000 compounds; more than any other food or beverage,” he explains. “The subtleties that come from coffee can be obliterated if it is roasted too dark.”
Although he understands and appreciates the science that goes into roasting a great cup of coffee, Leni says that tasting is a critical part of determining what specific elements you want to keep or eliminate in the final product. For example, he explains that some Ethiopian beans have a berry flavor while Guatemalan beans may have a smoky quality.
“Beans have a predisposition,” Leni says. “You find that out by doing a light roast. When you roast dark, you are burning out compounds.”
As Perfect Day Coffee continues to gain popularity, Leni strives to draw out the flavors and nuances that will entice and educate coffee lovers and connoisseurs, hoping one day to open his own café.
“I am always looking for the right location where I can build a loyal following,” he says.