“Every link of the chain matters, from the grower to the roaster to the person making your cup. Prismatic Coffee believes strongly that coffee should never be endured, but rather enjoyed. If you ever find yourself reaching for the half and half or sugar to improve your black coffee, you’re missing out.” – Prismatic Coffee
By Colorado Coffee Zine
Prismatic Coffee held its Grand Opening in April 2016 and nearly a year later it has already accomplished what it set out to do, to challenge the New Mexico coffee scene. Located in Albuquerque’s Sawmill District, Prismatic occupies the bottom floor of a residential building just 10 minutes walking distance from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Like the polished looking complex that is leading urban development in the neighborhood, the pristine Prismatic is leading this region’s charge on craft roasting.
The tributes to specialty coffee are endless. Loren Bunjes and roaster Grey Smith boast an exposed roaster on one end of the shop and a deconstructed image of the roaster, in the form of fragmented paintings, along the opposite wall. Facing the roaster, a giant flavor wheel illuminates the space and awakens visitors to the depth and range of flavor profiles they might experience from the in house roasts. Adjacent to that, a rough sketch of a coffee blossom is starting to take form.
For customers who are not familiar with the third wave approach to coffee, Prismatic might be hard to swallow on the first try. But the team of down to earth baristas (shout out to Kim and Gina) are happy to take you through the concise menu, explain the concept of third wave, and lead you to the finely crafted drink you never knew you always wanted. Visitors who might expect to find burritos and pastries will also be surprised to learn that Prismatic keeps a tight food menu as well. The single featured item is a delicate, fresh made Stoopwafel offered with caramel as a standard or fresh fruit depending on availability.
Prismatic is serious about presenting coffee in the most forward, precise way without any bells and whistles. The strong focus on roasting and high caliber flavor profiles grants them the opportunity to collaborate with other leaders in the craft industry, namely the breweries. Prismatic has launched at least two collaboration beers in the past year, one with La Cumbre Brewing and one with Boxing Bear Brewing. It has also created and used the large space as a gathering point in the community, hosting a latte art competition with local baristas and an art exhibition with the local high school among other things.
Moving forward and into its second year, Prismatic will remain dedicated to presenting coffee in its purest form and standing behind its identity as a leader in New Mexico’s third wave movement.