J. René Coffee Roasters, Hartford, CT

On the road Coffeehouse Adventures can be a bit of a gamble. For our Jersey adventures, I’ve researched the coffeehouse, looked up reviews, considered the area, but surprisingly, on vacation, I put much less effort into coffee searches.

Perhaps this is because we pick the location first and then I am locked in on digging up coffee within an appropriate radius.

While in Hartford, after picking up baked goodies, before heading to brunch*, we decided to search out a Coffeehouse Adventure.

*Yes, pretty much every decision we make while on vacation is food based: Where are we eating next? What kind of coffee is close by? Do you think there is another bakery near the one we are at right now? Might there be a gelato place open in February?


We narrowed our choices down to two coffee places with J. René getting the win.

I’m glad it did.

Though parking was a bit of a pain with their front parking lot full*, we quickly figured it out. Before we reached the counter, I knew they were going to have extraordinary coffee. My eye caught a couple each with their own coffee mug and a glass carafe between them. Then I caught one of the baristas setting up to use the siphon coffee maker and I was sold.

*Has to mean it’s a worthwhile stop, right?


The process of using a siphon coffee maker is intriguing. Not one that I could do every day*, but absolutely fascinating to watch. Grounds are put in the top glass cylinder and water in the bottom. As the water heats up it evaporates into the top container with the coffee.

*Though I do use a Chemex every day, and that isn’t as simple as dumping coffee grinds and pressing a button.


It is then removed from the heat and the coffee filters back into the bottom by a force created by the cooling process.

Amazing. Right? And I thought cold brew drip towers were awesome.


The line started to wrap around the room within minutes

The worst part of this coffeehouse adventure was that we didn’t have time to enjoy coffee made via this process. The latte I ordered was fantastic, but I still wanted to try one of their non-espresso roasts. So, we bought a bag of coffee to take home.

Their bags gave more information than the average bag of coffee including how it was processed and the elevation level. Because acidity isn’t something I often take note of, I wanted to try something with a mellow acidity. I’m usually a mild kind of gal, but I went for a medium body in order to determine if the acidity is really my issue. The Siliwangi Roast from Java was the perfect blend for me. Hubby found it was not strong enough for him, but as I have continued to brew it for the past month, it has become my favorite, equaled only by my Jersey favorite: LTC.


J. René Coffee Roasters
320 Park Road
West Hartford, CT


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