Having spent a significant amount of time working as a barista, this was unlike anything I had previously witnessed. Even in the era of cold brew and pour overs, it was by far the most complex filter coffee-brewing system I had ever seen. The bar offers no espresso, no ice, no milk steamers -- just coffee, in its purest form.
The blend tasted like citrus, dark chocolate, and jasmine. Unlike most black coffees, it didn't leave even a hint of a bitter aftertaste. There were no grinds resting at the bottom of the glass. I found myself cycling through the glossary of terms I'd collected from the backs of wine bottles to describe the taste -- oaky, full-bodied, tart. Perez was not wrong, it was certainly a luxury product.
But while the Extraction Lab offers both an educational and entertaining experience, along with some truly excellent coffee, it's hard to imagine it will ever cater to a culture of regulars (especially given the fact that Industry City already offers a regular coffee bar for its tenants). It remains to be seen if a coffee vendor can thrive serving high-end craft brews at this price once the hype dies down.