Miles Coffee Bar brings artisan brew to TN

The staff at the new Miles Coffee Bar on East Tremont Avenue is serving gourmet coffee drinks and fresh baked goods at their shop adjacent to Muscle Maker Grill.
Arthur Cusano

“Coffee is an art form,” explains Mario D’Agostino, owner of The Miles Coffee Bar. “There’s a science to how the plant is grown, how it’s transported, how it’s roasted, and how it’s ultimately ground and put into a cup and that’s something we take very seriously.”

D’Agostino, a 36-year-old Bronx native, is the owner of the popular Muscle Maker Grill at 4041 E. Tremont Avenue in 2010.

When the barber shop located next door to the grill closed, D’Agostino said he grabbed the opportunity to pursue his passion: coffee.

“Customers would eat (at Muscle Maker Grill) and say it would be nice if we served coffee, so that made me think coffee could work well next door,” he said.

The cafe gets its coffee beans from Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters in Brooklyn, shipped fresh from Colombia weekly to be roasted.

Staff underwent extensive training on how to brew the best cup of joe.

They have also invested in high-tech coffee grinding machines from Europe designed to make the best possible cup of coffee.

In addition to cafe favorites such as cappuccinos, lattes, macchiato and Americanos, they will soon introduce a cold-brewed coffee.

Also on the menu are organic teas and light breakfast and lunch offerings featuring baked goods made in-house.

D’Agostino said his coffee is a medium blend that will appeal to most people.

The café may add darker or lighter blends in time, but D’Agostino said the caffeine kick of their house blend is already stronger than popular chain coffee blends.

Just don’t ask for decaf – the café is not investing in the machinery needed for decaf just yet.

“For us to do decaf, we would have to get a whole new set of machinery just to grind decaf,” he said. “But we do have decaf tea.”

The café is expected to have its liquor license by the end of May that would allow them to also serve a curated selection of beers and wines.

But while the cafe might host live entertainment at some point, they hope to maintain a low-key atmosphere

“We don’t want to become a bar – we want to be a place where you can actually hold a conversation with your guests,” he said.

East Tremont has not had a locally owned upscale coffee shop, and D’Agostino said he hoped the shop would serve as a gathering place for the community, and said he hoped to eventually host events featuring local artists, possibly in the backyard that will open when the weather warms up.

But for now, their focus is on coffee.

“The star of the show is our coffee,” D’Agostino said. “Once you understand what we’re doing with our coffee, you’ll get a better grasp on how much love and passion we put into our pastries and food.”

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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