A compact cafe and roastery called Suprema Coffee Roastery has added to the coffee landscape near Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square.
With a tight menu in a meticulously designed, 600-square-foot space, Suprema was conceived by Stefan Radivojevic, who roasts coffee with a 2.5-pound Buckeye Roasters Phoenix Oro machine in a corner behind the counter.
As the founder, owner, designer and roaster, Radivojevic takes an uncompromising approach to quality in the finished product.
“I wanted to try to come up with something different — reinvent the way a coffee shop operates,” Radivojevic recently told Daily Coffee News. “We make only what we offer on the menu without exceptions, so there are no surprises or missed expectations.”
The obvious concession here is customization. In that regard, Radivojevic suggested Suprema offers a counterpoint to the endless potential beverage modifications that are made possible in other coffee shops, particularly large chains.
“[Big chains] have unlimited options and possibilities,” said Radivojevic. “They have all the milks and toppings — but we have the coffee.”
Suprema’s contemporary interior features clean lines, right angles and balanced textures, drawing attention to the barista, the Sanremo Verona espresso machine, a well-lit pastry case and the Buckeye roaster in the back. The wooden bar, ceiling panels, shelves and accents are additionally lightened by reflections from a white brick wall on one side and cool grey on the other.
Espresso is kept consistent by use of a Puqpress auto-tamper after baristas fill portafilter baskets under one of several Mahlkönig grinders. Batch brew is crafted carefully on a Fetco XTS brewing system, and the roasts all generally fall within Radivojevic’s personally preferred middle ground.
Though the opening of Suprema was years in the making and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Radivojevic has already formed a vision for a larger offsite roastery and a second retail cafe.
Suprema Coffee Roastery is now open at 1511 Pine St. in Philadelphia.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.