how it all began
 
 
 

PENSTOCK COFFEE ROASTERS

Penstock is a gateway for stories—where ideas and experiences are freely exchanged and where building community truly connects us. We strive to know the people who grow and process our coffee, and we want you to know them too. You are both equal parts of a story that started with a desire to make a better cup of coffee. It begins with supporting and serving the coffee-producing community more than fairly, and continues by bringing people together.

Quality, craft, and transparency are important. Where your coffee comes from and who you share it with—are everything.

 
 

 
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FROM OQ COFFEE TO PENSTOCK COFFEE ROASTERS

For those who knew us as OQ Coffee Co., we appreciate your dedication over the past 7+ years. And we want you to know that we haven’t gone anywhere.

WE STILL BELIEVE IN STARTING A CONVERSATION.
WE JUST WANT TO INCLUDE MORE PEOPLE.

We're a community with roots in so many places that we felt that our name should reflect not only our New Brunswick/Highland Park community, but also our relationships around the world. We've always believed in connecting our local community to our global community—our neighbors to the coffee farmers — and we still do.

PS — Thank you for joining us on this journey. We couldn't do it without you.

 
 

To learn more about the backstory of OQ, check out this short video from our friend at Headlamp Productions for a glimpse of how we started!

 

the beans
 
 

OUR COFFEE

We source as much of our coffee as direct as possible. Currently, farm direct coffee accounts for all our Central and most of our South American coffees or about 85% of the coffee we roast. Direct for us means we select the lot and we determine the price, quantity, and quality of the lot directly with the farm or mill owner. For the other 15%, we rely on certified coffee (Organic, Fair Trade, Bird Friendly, Rainforest Alliance, etc.); this guarantees a minimum wage in terms of Fair Trade and a minimum sustainability commitment in terms of RFA, Bird Friendly, and Organic; or we purchase stellar cupping lots, i.e., game changing coffee in terms of taste, innovative processing techniques, or coffees we intend to convert to directly sourced coffees.

Since there is no certifying agent for “directly sourced” coffee (and we are OKAY with that!), we communicate this by using our own mark. Anytime you see this on a coffee, you can be sure that both quality and economic/social and/or environmental factors are well above considered if not the focus:

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Our roasting philosophy follows our sourcing methodology: to highlight origin. We purchase high quality coffee and roast it just dark enough to accentuate it’s best characteristics. We want each coffee to taste like it’s place, that is, its terroir. Our certified coffees tend to be blended lots of many farms and are often of lesser quality. For these, we roast a little darker and meticulously blend to achieve a palatable if not outright delicious coffee.

 
 

 
 

awards & Involvement

In addition to receiving local and regional accolades, Penstock Coffee (acting as OQ Coffee) is a two-time, award-winning roaster, achieving Finalist distinction in the category of Coffee from the Good Food Awards (2017 and 2018). The GFA recognizes and celebrates food that is exceptionally delicious which also supports sustainability and social good.

We are humbled and so proud of our team to receive our first recognition as Penstock Coffee: Food & Wine’s Best Coffee in Every State, 2019
To be selected for this recognition, back to back, for not only the inaugural year but also the second, encourages us to continue pushing forward with our focused mission of bettering the coffee experience, economy, and communities through quality, craft and transparency in a way we hope to see become prevalent.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

press & Recognition

 
 

2019

AUGUST

Middlesex County NJ - Best Dish

MARCH

Food & Wine Magazine - The Best Coffee in Every State (Penstock Coffee for NJ)

2018

JULY

Courier News — Six Best Places to Get Cup of Coffee

APRIL

Rutgers Today — Alumna's OQ Coffee Co. Named Best in New Jersey

Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy — Urban Planning Alumnus Jessica Schellack Builds Community

MARCH

Food & Wine Magazine - The Best Coffee in Every State (OQ Coffee for NJ)

FEBRUARY

Barista Magazine - Scenes from the 2018 Good Food Awards

JANUARY

Sprudge — Winners of the 2018 Good Food Awards for Coffee

The Good Food Awards — 2018 Winners

Daily Coffee News, by Roast Magazine — OQ Coffee

2016

NOVEMBER

Sprudge — OQ Coffee Puts NJ on the Map for the Good Food Awards

AUGUST

Highland Park Planet - OQ: Committed to Coffee, Community and Consistent Quality

2015

OCTOBER

Hannah More Project — OQ Coffee: Great Coffee That’s Making the World Better

APRIL

nj.com — Raise Your Java IQ

MARCH

NJ Monthly — Best Coffee Houses, Central

BioCafe — Corner of the Cafe Blog

2014

MARCH

Edible NJ, Spring 2014 — Local Heroes, OQ Coffee

2013

NOVEMBER

Pure Coffee Blog — Independent Coffee Review

APRIL

NJ Spice — working with Elijah's Promise

FEBRUARY

Coffee Review — Leading Coffee Buying Guide

2012

DECEMBER

New Brunswick Patch — Grand Opening

New Brunswick Night Out — Grand Opening

JANUARY

Craft Coffee — Featured Coffees

2011

MAY

PCUSA — Beginnings