I stumbled upon Devocion when a friend discovered my coffee blog and encouraged me to pay a visit. I wasn’t aware that there could be such a thing as the ‘freshest coffee available bean to cup’ or of the concept of ‘sparkling coffee’ both of which are available at Devocion. I organised to visit the midtown location and neighborhood, which is close to my heart as it was once home to The NoMad Hotel and is still a great spot for restaurants including Gramercy Tavern. So, I ventured out and I fell in love with the space! I then had the opportunity to interview the Founder, Steven Sutton and he shared his story:
How did you become inspired to launch Devocion?
I had various sources of inspiration. When I first started in coffee in 2003 I was not finding great Colombian coffee anywhere. This inspired me to look deeper into the why of things , where I found out that no one was going deep into the Colombian coffee territory with the purpose of finding untouched gems and complex specialty coffee. That started my journey and adventure through Colombian coffee, and my second inspiration to do amazing work inside these regions with its coffee farmers. After several years truly working on how to source coffee for ourselves we discovered that we could get coffee at its peak moment and roast it while fresh, which was something few had the ability to do, and those who did have the ability were not interested in doing it. This is when we inspired to move to the US and show the world what fresh coffee really meant.
Your life experiences from Colombia to New York are so diverse. How do you make sense of it altogether since the lives you have lived are so different?
In all honesty it’s great to have both experiences . It helps you see things in different ways, helps you keep your head grounded and in the end understand people better. I definitely see it as an advantage.
What should a first-time visitor to Devocion know about the brand?
We are the only brand that guarantees the freshness of coffee before roasting and after roasting.
Few people know this, but the coffee industry averages 6 months old beans before the roasting process starts. In essence most people in the US are drinking freshly roasted old coffee. Devocion is the only brand that guarantees its raw coffee (green beans) are fresh before roasting. The freshness of our beans before and after roasting guarantees a product that is more vibrant and full of flavor than other roasters.
What coffee do you personally like to drink?
I like everything black. No sugar, no milk. So either drip, espresso or pour over.
What is the future of true farm fresh coffee? Do you think other roasteries will start jumping on to this idea?
I think coffee has to follow the same path as the restaurant and food industry went through when the farm to table movement started. We all want a better product and we all know freshness is key for coffee. Why roasters choose to leave their coffees just sitting around for months makes no sense to me. Roasting beans that are fresh make a much better tasting product. So it’s just common sense that people will slowly start asking for it and demanding that the coffee they are drinking is fresh through out the process.
What are your favourite spots in New York?
I’m a foodie, and NY is foodie heaven , so I really don’t have a particular favorite place. I enjoy exploring and tasting every type of food I can.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I have always gotten my inspiration from people that treat food and it’s value chain with the outmost respect and really fully understand it. Chefs like Daniel Humm, Dan Barber have been industry people I have looked up to and still do.