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Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co.

41 E. Main St. Patchogue, NY 631-627-3966

At Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. in

(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)

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Type: Beverages, Food, Specialty Special features: Food Description:

Roast Coffee & Tea comes by its name honestly: The spacious shop's dining area is dominated by an enormous, Turkish-made Garanti coffee roaster, which, when it's not being operated, is cordoned off so that curious customers can't prod its levers or probe its chambers. Owner Bill Closson and managing partner Anthony Hubert roast beans three or four times a week, which means both beans ground for coffee and beans bagged for sale (about $15 per pound) are never more than a day or two out of the roaster.

"Plenty of coffee shops use beans that were roasted months ago," Closson said. "You can taste the difference."

When does Roast grind its freshly roasted beans? At the last possible minute. Hubert, a former Starbucks roaster who was living in Florida when Closson recruited him, grinds the beans for Roast's traditional drip coffee just before he makes a pot, the beans for the hand-pulled espressos just before turning on the machine. Hubert's favorite method of brewing coffee is in a French-press, a glass carafe in which the ground coffee and hot water are allowed to steep for a few minutes before a plunger separates the two. "This method really lets you taste the beans," Hubert said, sipping a cup of Hawaiian-grown Maui Typica, a fruity, medium-bodied coffee.

Closson, a full-time toxicologist as well as a coffee enthusiast, has lived in Patchogue for 32 years and long dreamed of opening a place where locals could gather over coffee, tea (Roast carries Manhasset-blended SerendipiTea) and sweets, including brownies, peanut-butter cups and "morning sunshine breakfast cookies" from Caffé Portofino in Northport.

-- ERICA MARCUS

Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.