Food blogger Adam Goldberg admits he's been captivated by NYC's specialty coffee scene for the past decade and a half. "New York has always had this uniquely quirky relationship with coffee," says Goldberg, best known for his site A Life Worth Eating. But with his new magazine Drift, Goldberg dives deeper into the intersections between coffee and culture-at-large, focusing on the people and communities fueled by coffee. "We wanted to focus more on culture and use coffee as a thread to link together these stories that are happening in cities," Goldberg says. "It's something that's accessible to anybody."
The 144-page premiere issue of Drift, which will be available January 14, 2015, is dedicated entirely to New York City, with each future issue to be focused on one specific place. Goldberg notes that despite specialty coffee's high-profile in the culinary world, "most of New York does not drink specialty coffee — most of New York is used to the coffee carts in the Financial District, or diner coffee, or makes coffee at home." As a result, Drift aims "to paint a complete picture" of a local scene while still "recognizing that speciality coffee is better in almost every way," he says. "It has top-quality beans, applies better extraction methods, it provides better prices to farmers, it's better for the environment, its beans are lower in chemicals, the list goes on and on."
"We wanted to... use coffee as a thread to link together these stories." —Adam Goldberg, Drift editor-in-chief
In addition to familiar names in specialty coffee from Williamsburg to the East Village, the introductory issue includes features about a Ethiopian buna ceremony conducted by a "Rastafarian community up in the Bronx," Sri Lankan coffee available in Staten Island, and coffee shops tucked within "shared spaces" throughout the city. But according to Goldberg, "the list goes on of cities that we'd like to talk about, where coffee has started to explode." Future issues might travel to Tokyo, Stockholm, or Mexico City, the latter of which sits in, according to Goldberg, "one of the only countries where the beans are roasted domestically and then served to specialty coffee standards within the same country."
Goldberg acts as Drift's editor-in-chief, commanding a team that includes creative director/coffee shop owner Daniela Velasco, copy editor/Ulterior Epicure Bonjwing Lee, and executive editor Elyssa Goldberg. Current plans are to print semi-annually, with a commitment to run ad-free. "We wanted to keep our reading experience really pure — part of our initial decision to move it to print was we wanted to make it [look] kind of like a coffee table book," Goldberg says. "Hopefully, we'll tell the stories in other cities as well. Because coffee sits in the background of so many moments every day, it's very personal to a city. We wanted that to come across."
Drift will be available via online ordering (for $24) and in select NYC locations in mid-January.