By Lauren Seval
Gentle Brew's coffee shop, a quirky addition to Stewart Avenue that's not too far from the Hofstra campus, prides itself on serving fresh coffee with an authenticity you're not going to find at the local Dunkin Donuts.
Bryan Baquet, a philosophy major at Adelphi University, runs the company with friends Zain Nadeem and Pat Luyster, and invested in the business seven months ago when Baquet began his own love affair with coffee. "That's when I first discovered whole bean coffees at Fairway. From there I just started reading any coffee book I could find, and tasting as many different coffees as I could," he said. His father agreeably put down the first month's rent for a storefront, and gradually small investors were taken with Baquet's vision, giving the company a decent amount of operating money. Just as many of us have come to savor fine wines, Gentle Brew is working on developing an appreciation for coffee. Their freshly roasted coffee is imported from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico and Colombia, and they're always looking to explore more variety. The coffee at Gentle Brew is catered to fit each customer's taste and preference. "We're all about consumerism, since we're consumers ourselves; we're not pretentious coffee roasters," Baquet said. Always a plus, since nobody really wants to go up to a counter with a special request, only to be gawked at for not ordering coffee "the right way." Whether you have a hankering for an eccentric flavor or if you prefer your coffee burnt, these guys are more than eager to cater to customers' cravings.
Gentle Brew also goes old-school with their home delivery system that brings in a lot of revenue. "We want to bring it back retro to the milkman," Baquet said. Who wouldn't love waking up on a Sunday morning with fresh coffee at their door? These guys are certainly onto something, biodegradable bags and all.
To put icing on the cake, their popular Cold Brew is doled out for free during midterms and finals, where students probably need that extra surge of caffeine to accompany grueling hours of studying. The drink is brewed for several hours, extracting the caffeine and coffee for a longer period of time. It's a drink Zain Nadeem calls "heaven in a bottle," so you can't exactly go wrong with that. ( I recommend their zesty cinnamon flavor, just throwing it out there).
Gentle Brew is located at 107-7 Stewart Avenue, Hicksville NY, and you can contact them at (516) 605-2370.