I grew up at the Jersey Shore and love going back to visit friends and family, but the one downside during previous trips home is I could never find a good coffee shop. The Jersey Shore is dominated by “big corporate” coffee like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Fortunately, last year when I went home for Christmas I discovered a new local coffee shop had opened up just a few miles from my parents in Belmar, NJ called Turnstile Coffee Roasters.
Turnstile is located on Highway 71 near just across the street from the Belmar Marina and several blocks inland from the beach. Unlike many coffee shops you find in beach communities turnstile doesn’t go the cliché route of trying to make their coffee bar a beach themed surfer style coffee shop. It instead has the classic “third wave” coffee shop look with wood floors and tables, leather couches, and nice warm lighting. The space inside is ample with plenty of tables and offers options for sitting in the back closer to the coffee roaster or along a along a large window providing natural lighting in the front of the shop.
They offer a full range of coffee and espresso drinks and have a small case of freshly made pastries sourced from a local bakery. Turnstile roasts their own coffee but they also use coffee beans from Stumptown Coffee out of Portland. During my visit they were using their own coffees for drips and pour overs and French presses while also using Stumptown’s Hairbender on the espresso bar. Since my last visit I heard a rumor that they sometimes also use Counter Culture Coffee but I have yet to confirm this and hope to find out during my next visit home.
Since my last visit I heard a rumor that they sometimes also use Counter Culture Coffee but I have yet to confirm this and hope to find out during my next visit home. I love how their coffee roaster is located right there in the shop. They were roasting coffee while I was there during my last visit and it was fun to sit at a nearby table sipping my cappuccino while witnessing the roasting and bagging process. On that particular day they were roast Ethiopian Yirgacheffee. I picked up a bag they had roasted the day before for $14 and found it to be quite good.
The cappuccino and pastries I had were quite good and I was pleased to see that the Jersey shore now has a coffee shop I can look forward to hanging out at on my visits home. It appears that the shop has been well received by the community and has already collected a host of regulars. The one thing I hope they will reconsider at Turnstile are their hours of operation. Right now they are only open from 8am to 3p. I’d love to see them stay open a little later for those looking to spend a quiet evening enjoying a coffee with friends.
I am thrilled to see this third wave shop thrive in my hometown and offer residents a quality coffee option and alternative to the big chains. If you ever find yourself staying in Belmar during a trip to the Jersey shore I highly recommend a visit to Turnstile Coffee.