The headquarters for Brooklyn Crafted is a little ways off the Morgan stop of the L train, and the door that leads to the company’s production space and offices is pretty unassuming. But once inside, the smell of tea production takes over.
The production floor is where the drinks are brewed in small batches, then bottled, pasteurized, and packaged for distribution. And since it’s brewed in house, everything smells like ginger tea, but with a hint of fruit. There are workers making sure that the bottles and drinks make it through the process correctly, and then it’s put on a pallet and packaged to be sent out to supermarkets and delis.
The view of the machines doing their thing from above is somewhat mesmerizing. The bottles go at an even pace and the clinking of the bottles being moved around, filled, and then packaged is industrial ASMR.
Brooklyn Crafted’s owner Terry Tang is an entrepreneur from Hong Kong who cares about hiring locally and keeping as much of the process as possible in house. By brewing everything here in small batches, it makes for better quality control—which may explain why the drinks are much beloved and carried in so many stores around the borough and beyond.
The company has a number of different ginger-based flavors. There are the ginger beers and ginger ales, in flavors like earl grey, lemon lime, mango, sugar free, classic, and extra spicy. The ales and beers can be used in mixed drinks or just enjoyed by themselves.
Brooklyn Crafted also has a new line of Calamansi-ades made from a mandarin kumquat hybrid from Asia that tastes a bit like the Latin American quenepa (also known as limonsillo or mamonsillo). The tart but refreshing drink comes in original, lite, pomegranate, ginger, and mango. They’re all packed with tropical flavor and can also be versatile for alcoholic drinks, or on ice to stave off the rest of the summer heat.
There’s also a new line of lightly sweetened brewed teas that are inspired by East Asian teas the owner has enjoyed. There’s the aromatic ten herb liang cha tea and hibiscus flower tea that tastes delightfully like a stronger agua de jamaica in Mexican cuisine. The brown sugar ginger herbal tea is so smooth and tastes a lot like something that a bubble tea shop would have. The hawthorn berry tea is very summery and tart. The prunella is medicinal tasting and strong, but not overpowering, and it’s apparently great for inflammation.
From their attention to detail and creativity, to their dedication to hiring locally, they’re giving Brooklyn something solid to sip on.