Home Food + DrinkCoffee Modcup Coffee: From Coffee Cart to Café in Jersey City

Modcup Coffee: From Coffee Cart to Café in Jersey City

by Annie Salvatore
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With over 100 coffee shops and cafes in Jersey City and Hoboken, finding the perfect cup of Joe is not as easy as it may seem. For those just looking for a caffeine fix, you probably won’t have to wander too far, as even your corner bodega surely has a freshly brewed pot.  But what about those who want a finely-crafted cup of coffee?  One that doesn’t require milk, sugar, and pumps of flavor just to give it taste? Enter Modcup, a coffee haven on Palisade Avenue in Jersey City Heights.

Not all coffee is created equally, and that is proven by local resident Travas Clifton who is the founder and owner of Modcup Coffee. In just seven years, Modcup went from a hotdog cart selling curbside coffee to having its own roastery, three cafes, a coffee truck, and an online business. Here’s how Travas’s dream of amazing caffeine turned into a successful business fueling Hudson County residents.

modcup coffee jersey city

{Photo credit: @modcupcoffee}

From Coffee Cart to Coffee Café 

Travis first discovered his love of well-made coffee after leaving his job as an art dealer, where he sailed the world selling art to yacht owners and cruise ship lines. Finding himself in Toronto, he was introduced to his first cup of coffee without milk, sugar, or artificial flavors. After working up the courage to taste coffee without the extras, he found that it was as amazing as the barista promised, simply because it was not overly roasted or stale. Realizing he had gone his entire life without a well-made cup of coffee, an idea was born.

Read More: To-Go Cocktails in Hoboken + Jersey City: The Ultimate Guide

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modcup coffee 4

{Photo credit: @modcupcoffee}

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Shortly after this discovery, Travas made the leap to New Jersey in 2012, where he realized there were limited options for freshly roasted coffee. Following his dream, he began roasting his own coffee and selling it out of a hotdog cart alongside the Hudson River in Hoboken in 2013. Its popularity with residents led to Travas purchasing a 1969 Citreon coffee truck from France, which became the first official outpost of Modcup.

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{Photo credit: @modcupcoffee}

The Modcup truck found a home parked at the Hyatt Regency {2 Exchange Place} in Jersey City and also made its way to Riverview Park in Jersey City Heights during the Riverview Farmer’s Market.  Realizing that residents of the Heights couldn’t get enough of the coffee, Travas opened the first Modcup Café storefront in 2014 {479 Palisade Avenue}, across the street from the park and overlooking the Manhattan skyline. The success of the truck and café created the need for a larger roastery to support the growing business. In 2016, Modcup opened a 2,000 square foot roastery/café in Journal Square {25 Senate Place}, which not only allowed the Modcup team to roast more beans but also gave residents a café to frequent in a neighborhood without many options.

In 2019, Modcup expanded to the Harborside Financial Center food court {210 Hudson Street}, giving Exchange Place residents and employees of this financial hub a place to fuel up.   

What Makes Modcup Coffee So Good

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{Photo credit: @modcupcoffee}

A combination of carefully selected coffee beans and the science behind roasting are the key reasons for Modcup coffee’s great taste. Coffee bean seeds are chemically-complex and contain between 600 to 1,200 flavor and taste nodes {compared to wine, which has between 400-600}. First, Travas selects the flavorful Modcup beans by visiting farms across the world {including Colombia, Bali, Ethiopia, and Guatemala} to handpick and inspect them. Next, the beans are shipped to his roastery in Jersey City where they undergo a delicate roasting process to ensure maximum full-bodied flavor. Then, an 18-day sell-by date is established after roasting to guarantee freshness and quality. 

This attention to detail in the roasting process and commitment to quality has put Modcup on the map globally, ranking #12 for “Best Coffee in the World” by Coffee Review.

modcup coffee 5

{Photo credit: @modcupcoffee}

COVID-19 Response

Although Modcup had closed its cafes in response to COVID-19 to protect its staff and patrons, it recently reopened all of its stores for takeout. Otherwise, you can order the freshly roasted coffee beans off its website with no shipping fees or call before 2:00PM for free same-day delivery of beans + cold brew growlers for locals. The Yirgacheffe Ethiopian coffee and Finca San Lorenzo Guatemalan options are must-trys!

See More: The Grind Coffee Shop Opening Grind General Store in Jersey City

Keep an eye out for the “buy-one/give-one” instant coffee campaign, launching soon.  For every pack of instant coffee you buy, they will donate a pack to essential workers.  This award-winning instant coffee will be the perfect base to make that cup of Dalgona coffee that’s taken over social media.

Modcup is currently operating on a modified schedule of 8:00AM – 5:00PM Monday through Friday and 9:00AM – 6:00PM Saturday and Sunday. 

Have you visited Modcup coffee yet? What did you get? Let us know in the comments!

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