Str8Java's hot new thing in Bearfort Shopping Village

Shop fills need for authentic brew, roasts own coffee beans

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  • Photos provided Darren Bartoli saw a need for a great coffee place in West Milford, so he opened Stra8Java in Bearfort Shopping Village.

  • Stra8Java has seating for 25 people.

  • Coffee beans are either roasted right there at Stra8Java or purchased from microroasters and freshly ground.

By Ginny Privitar

Darren Bartoli's fruitless search for great coffee in West Milford led him to open his own coffee shop, Str8Java.

The shop had its soft opening three months ago and officially just two months ago, but Bartoli says he couldn't be happier with the amount of business he has.

The Messenger asked him why he decided to open a coffee shop.

"Cause there was no good coffee here; there was no place where you could get a good latté or cappuccino," Bertoli said. "Other places use powder mixes. All my stuff is put together from scratch and done authentically."

People love fresh roasted coffee, Bertoli said, and he gives them properly prepared java. Word has spread quickly and Bertoli notes it can get very busy.

Str8Java seats about 25 at tables, chairs and couches.

Bertoli is especiallyproud of his expensive old-school Rancilio expresso machine from Italy. In addition to coffees, he serves smoothies, old-fashioned egg-creams, frozen and whipped lattés and iced tea. He'll be adding a variety of hot teas this week.

"We also make nitro cold-brewed coffee. It pours like a pilsner beer and is naturally sweet," he said.

Pastries from Rockland Bakery are available on the weekend.

Bertoli grew up in Bergan County and has lived in West Milford for 23 years. He and his wife, Linda, have a 13-yeard-old son, Nicholas. Bertoli says he doesn't have much spare time. When he does take time off, he likes to go fishing and ice fishing.

Why is the place popular? "It's great coffee," Bertoli said, and "we make all our coffees to order." That sets them apart. Bartoli buys from several suppliers and roasts his own coffee, besides purchasing bagged coffee from microroasters, like Greenwood Lake Roasters, Stone Street, Brooklyn and Moon Doggie Roasters. He also carries K-cups. He has something to please every palate.

"It's ten times busier than I thought it would be," Bertoli said happily.


Bearfort Shopping Village

1616H Union Valley Rd.

Hours as posted on website.

Tel: 973-897-5373

What customers have to say:"I stopped in for the first time this past weekend to buy a bag of espresso as a gift (knowing very little about espresso) and try a fresh ground cup of java for myself. Darren and his staff are so knowledgeable, they gave good recommendations and shared some "general coffee knowledge" that I was totally unaware of. Bonus: they roast beans right in house, let me smell a variety of batches roasted fresh that day- heaven! Wound up buying a bag of espresso for myself, too-now I can't wait to go back and pick up a light roast to try.

If you are a coffee lover, you must go check out this little gem of a shop- you will be very happy."

Beth Ann Furlong-Hibbert

Best coffee around. They make your java on the spot!

Robin Yaiser Logan

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