There’s plenty of science to roasting coffee, a fact emphasized in all its geeky glory at Function Coffee Labs near the Italian Market, where the pour-overs are served in Erlenmeyer flasks alongside a slice of celery (to cleanse the palate). Nibble it beforehand and the coffee to follow will be sweeter.
But there’s artistry in the roaster’s craft, as well. And Function’s sister company, Vibrant Coffee Roasters, has scored big with its rendition of an Ethiopian Ardi bean that recently won a coveted Good Food Award, a national competition for small producers that showcases products that are also socially and environmentally sustainable. Only 25 coffees from nearly 300 entrants won the distinction. Another Ethiopian coffee — Basa from Matt Adams’ Backyard Beans in Lansdale — was Pennsylvania’s only other winner.