Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Some New York Coffee Shops

I always seem to map out where I can get a good cup of coffee wherever I travel to these days.
Although on that 10 week trip through 5 Asian countries with work, a year and a half a go, I never drank such bad coffee on a regular basis before. I vowed it would never happen again.
Saying that, I remember in Chile when I asked for an espresso in a coffee shop, they gave me a tin of Nescafe and a jug of hot water to make my own. Unreal. Apparently I found out Chile is bad for coffee, where as its neighbour and/or enemy, Argentina is quite good.
Thankfully on this trip to New York, this was not going to be a problem. I already knew of a few good places to get my daily fix, like the 9th Street Espresso in Chelsea Market, and as we were staying close by, this was a good place to have so handy.
Also very close was a branch of Think Coffee, which turned out to be a lifesaver in more ways than one.
Actually both branches of Think Coffee that I visited, the one on 8th Avenue and the other on the corner of Bowery and Bleecker, both served up great coffee in a nice easy setting
The ambiance in the Bowery store was a little more comforting than the 8th Avenue branch, which was a lot lot larger with more room, but somehow it lacked a little in ambiance as everyone sitting so far apart. I’m a nosey person and I love to hear what other people are talking about, but most of the time it is just to feel them near.
All the branches make the Think Coffee house blend for their espressos, but to order you can get one of their single estate farms brewed for you.
I left there once buzzing after trying 3 different coffees back to back. Never again, took we a few hours before I stopped shaking.
This is the type of coffee shop I’d love to have close to my house, but alas no, it’s the one thing Stoke Newington is lacking in, a great coffee shop with knowledgeable staff who love making great coffee.
A new and swanky offering I found was the Roasting Plant. Wow this place blew my mind. Walking into the Greenwich Avenue shop I thought I’d been transported to a coffee shop of the future. It blew me away, but as I was jetlagged and it all fell into place.

I wonder if this is how things will look in the future, al neon and bright colours. It felt like I was in a 1960’s film that was set in the future. I think the guys must have thought I was casing the joint, or just on drugs, especially with my blurry eyes.
But onto the important stuff. The coffee is exceptional. Really good. They roast and grind their own beans, which as we all know they can control and personalise their own coffees. Well if they are any good, which these guys are. Phew.
If it wasn’t for the over the top setting this would have been my coffee shop of choice if I lived nearby, but call me a traditionalist or boring, the setting never did it for me.
Another place I wouldn’t leave was Joe The Art of Coffee. Well I had to leave in the end, as I wasn’t cool enough to hang out there for hours on end sipping espressos. I’ve never fitted in with the cool kids, and now that I’m in my 40’s I never will, but Joe knows about the Art of Coffee, and brews a particularly fine fine cup.

I was also very pleased by their latte art, a really good talent and please people this is art, it’s not a gimmick.
You can also run with Joe, every Saturday from 10am from Waverley Joe. They say coffee is free afterwards, but the last thing you should be having after a run is coffee.
Also there is Eco Joe who has a compost and recycling program happening at a few of their shops. You are a fine man Joe.
I was intending to find more places, but I was more than content with what I found and let it be. I was a happy man.

Roasting Plant on Urbanspoon Roasting Plant on Urbanspoon
Think Coffee on UrbanspoonThink Coffee on Urbanspoon
Joe The Art of Coffee on Urbanspoon


Grumbling Gourmet said...

Next time you're there... Stumptown. It's in the ground floor of the Ace Hotel, serves a beautifully fruity cup o' Joe, the best in Midtown and... they have Momofoku's Crack Pie to go alongside. My personal favourite...

Mzungu said...

GG - Yes that Crack Pie is certainly as addictive as coffee. Thanks for the tip on Stumptown, next time.

The Perfect Trough said...

Great post. I've always struggled a bit in NY with coffee, which is ridiculous - but I guess everyone hoards their own secret favourites!

I think I've been to Think Coffee, if it's opposite the Bowery Hotel/fancy soul food restaurant - and does a range of 'grilled cheese'!