It makes sense that baristas are often plugged into the most interesting things in any community. Brittany Bowling of Rook Coffee Roasters (60r Monmouth Road, Oakhurst) shared some thoughts with us about life in and around Asbury Park. 

Perfect bar or place for a beer?

Absolutely Brickwall Tavern. So many different craft beers on tap and there is always something new to try. Beer flights there are my favorite because I can try five new beers at once!

Favorite Jersey Shore building/architecture?

Probably the Casino, or the entire Asbury Boardwalk for that matter. From Convention Hall to the Wonder Bar and even the good ol’ Stone Pony, it’s a sight I love to see.

Your ideal breakfast or lunch spot on a day off?

I’ve only been to Toast twice but have absolutely loved it both times and would love to go more. As an Eggs Benedict connoisseur, it’s definitely up there in my faves.

Best Jersey Shore pizza?

I love grabbing a slice of Grandma’s Pie at Gianni’s on my breaks. So delicious!

Favorite grocery store/market or other local shop?

I shop at Wegman’s almost exclusively. They have an app where you can create your shopping list and it sorts it so that it is more convenient for you to find. They also have the natures market and there and plenty of organic choices. Love love it.

Favorite Jersey Shore kitch experience?

I’m fairly new to the shore. I relocated here in August 2012, so many places that others find old and worn out, seem charming and new to me. I love beat-the-clock Tuesday nights at Bar Anticipation in Belmar. I usually would not at all be into something like that, but it made some of my favorite Jersey Shore summer memories and for that I’ll always go back.


What books or magazine are you currently reading?

I will forever be guilty of being sucked into young adult fantasy novels however I am trying to get into some John Green books because I would like to read “The Fault in our Stars” before I see the movie.

Favorite music to play at work?

We listen to Pandora at work. Currently my favorite stations to put on are Indie Dance Party, Lindsey Sterling, and Summer Hits of the 90’s.

Bike or Car?

I currently don’t even own a bike but I’ve been dying to get one for the summer. If I do get one I will be riding it all day, everyday.

Any coffee mentor/s?

Our coffee roaster, James Stahon. His knowledge of coffee is endless. He’s always giving us employees fun facts about coffee and it’s fun learning from him.

Favorite little-known local history fact?

Because I’m new here, there are very little history facts I know about the area. I’m learning everyday.


Most ridiculous customer request?

I think no matter where you go or work there are always going to be those customers with outlandish requests. We get so many that it’s almost as if there are no requests that surprise me.  I wouldn’t call this ridiculous, but it’s always entertaining to me when customers want to mix multiple different sweeteners. . . and when someone asks if we have “cow milk”.

If you could tell your customers one thing about coffee that you wish they knew, what would it be?

The darker the roast the less caffeine! If you/re looking for a better kick,   shoot for the mild roasts!! It’s a common misconception that the bolder roasts have more caffeine.

What’s your best advice for making coffee at home?

Experiment! Try different methods rather than your old auto drip. I personally love a good French press. There will always be measurements that are reccommended but continue to tweak those to your liking! Also go for freshly roasted coffees!

What’s your favorite/least favorite drink to make?

This isn’t a single drink, but I love working on big orders. I enjoy being challenged by a customer that orders 4 or more coffees at once. I like to see how well I can multitask and how quickly I can get the coffees out. It makes me really sad to make decaf coffee, especially for customers who are being forced to switch from their regular cup to decaf.

What projects are keeping you busy when not making coffee?

I am a graphic design major so I have endless art projects to work on. I also spend my spare time taking and editing photos and when I’m not doing any of that, I’m working on videos for my YouTube channel, AwkwardGravityx.

David Spelman is a music producer, founder of the New York Guitar Festival, TEDxNavaesink talent advisor and Ocean Grove resident. He enjoys cycling, yoga, coffee, and generally encouraging creative dialogue across disciplines and barstools.

Photos by Nick Keifer

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