ISSUE 1  |  Office Space

Shopper’s Diary: No. Six Depot Roasters in the Berkshires

January 09, 2014 5:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Housed in a former train station dating to 1834–the oldest in the Berkshires–No. Six Depot café and coffee roasters in West Stockbridge, MA imports coffee beans from around the world from small farms that use organic practices.

It’s a family business. Co-owners Lisa Landry and Flavio Lichtenthal, who opened  No. Six Depot in July, work alongside their teenage children, Sebastian and Paolo. In October, the family business expanded into an adjacent gallery space where No. Six Depot hosts art exhibits, live music and dance performances, and poetry readings. For more information, see No. Six Depot.

Photographs by Jennifer May except where noted. 

Above: No. Six Depot serves breakfast, lunch, and once-a-week dinners. Before opening No. Six Depot, co-owner Lichtenthal spent the previous ten years as head of the kitchen program at Gould Farm, a residential therapeutic community for adults with mental illnesses where a 650-acre farm produces its own vegetables, meat, and dairy products. The farm recently published a 100th anniversary cookbook with his recipes.

Above: Co-owners Landry and Lichtenthal bought the old train station in 2012 and renovated it with friend and designer Adam Medina. Photograph by Lisa Landry.

Above: “Literally everything was made or designed by Adam and us, from lights to counters to tables to shelves,” says Landry. The project made use of reclaimed materials, including salvaged school slate boards used to make the back counter. Photograph by Roland Pabst.

Above: The gallery space at No. Six Depot. Photograph by Lisa Landry.

Above: Canisters of imported olive oil.

Above: Among the items for sale at No. Six Depot are teas, coffee beans (whole and ground), and salts. The tea selection includes some rarer types, such as Sechung Oolong; a Rose Congou, and a Jasmine Pouchong; teas are available online for $8 per 4-ounce bag. 

Above: Designing bags for the coffee beans was the work of Nashville-based Perky Brothers, who created packaging and a brand identity for No. Six Depot. 

Above: Coffee beans are roasted on a refurbished vintage Probat roaster (circa the 1960s). Co-owner Flavio Lichtenthal roasts by hand in small batches of no more than 12 kilos. He has a temperature gauge, but on the old-fashioned machine “he roasts using eye, ear, nose,” says Landry. “Each crop and bean are unique and it’s very manual.”

Above: He generally cooks the beans to a medium roast. Only one roast–Heart of Darkness Blend ($10 for a 10-ounce bag)–is a dark roast. His Seck-Sie Blend ($10 for 10 ounces) is composed of a mix of one Sumatra bean roasted three ways: light, medium, and dark.

Above: Café manager Sascha Woolfe; photograph by Roland Pabst.

Handmade in Italy, the Victoria Arduino espresso machine uses a lever system to create pressure. “We are hand-pulling espressos (versus a push button),” says Landry. “It’s a very Neapolitan way to pull espresso.”

Above: The breakfast menu includes homemade granola with fruit and local yogurt from Berle Farm in upstate New York. On Friday nights, No. Six Depot is also open for dinner. 

Above: For more of our favorite coffee shops, see The Greenest Coffee Shop in the World.