Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New York City Coffee

Here's a quick rundown of my trip to NYC, limited to my coffee shop experiences. I hope the pictures are helpful. A quick Google search of these shops should give you the specific locations. All of the places visited came t me highly recommended, and I can forward the opinion. Some places were definitely superior to others. I'll note these performance differences in the captions of the pictures.
Our third shop visited: Cafe Regular, Park Slope, Brooklyn. This shop came after we visited Gorilla Coffee further down on 5th Avenue, on Park Place, and Postmark Cafe which is on 5th Ave and 6th St.

The inside of Cafe Regular. Their espresso came from Pennsylvania, exactly where escapes me. Their staff was trained in the mechanics of pulling shots  fairly well, but even the owner was a bit lacking in thorough knowledge of his product. He was either uninterested in talking about his espresso's taste profile or he was ignorant of it. Either issue is a huge problem when you make your living selling the stuff.
A really bad shot of the shot. It tasted better than it looks here. Light and vibrant. I suspect it had a higher-than-normal African coffee content. There were clear woody tones that make me think it had some central American coffee included, but I'm not for sure (again, the owner had little ability to explain his product).
Cafe Martin is a relative of Cafe Regular. Regular had two owners originally, but now Martin has moved further down 5th Avenue to a new location. I thought Martin was good, worth the money, but had a lot of technical flaws that detracted from the coffee. My double shot Americano (seen below) was pulled in reverse, water after espresso. The biggest problem was that what should normally take 25-30 seconds to fully pull took closer to 45. By the end of the time, the shot was so blonde it was screaming in agony. The Americano tasted overly bitter and abnormally intense (since 3/4 of the drink was "espresso").  
Americano, Cafe Martin. Please note the bullet hole near the center of the crema where the hot water was added last. Ouch.
Very large by NYC standards. Ozzie's is a local favorite, but not really specialty coffee. Yes, they roast their own, but that does not necessarily mean it is good. It's not. This place reminds me of Columbia, Missouri's own Lakota Coffee.
Roots Cafe is relatively new to the scene, but more of a veteran than Cafe Martin. It's been around for over a year now. The owner, Jamey, is a great guy and knows his stuff when it comes to coffee. I met him at Church! a few years ago. I think he got a bit of inspiration from Church! for his shop- Postmark Cafe is a church-run coffee shop to reach out the the community in Brooklyn. I'd say Church! now has two brranches. Roots has definitely eclipsed Postmark in quality and menu variety. Roots uses Stumptown Coffee, which dramatically improves the coffee quality there over its competitors. He uses a two group La Marzocco Linea, which easily covers the demand. This hole-in-the-wall place will be expanding soon due to demand.
A picture of my stylish self ordering two (small is the only size available besides traditional drinks "for here") iced lattes with twin triple ristrettos. Very nice. My first Stumptown experience. Jamey threw out the first three attempts of the morning because the shots did not meet his expectations- the first shots of the day often do not make requirements. This is called "seasoning" the machine.
No outside photo of Gimmie! Coffee, but this is me purchasing a single shot and two triple ristretto iced lattes for the subway ride to Manhattan. Gimmie! is located in Williamsburg a couple blocks from the G train stop at Metropolitan Ave. Very stylish and tasty. Recommended, but it's a bit out of the way unless you're traveling on the G crosstown Brooklyn to Queens or visa versa.
More a restaurant than a coffee shop, Aroma surprised me with a great experience. There are three locations in NYC. We visited, quite by accident, the Midtown location while searching for fabric shops in Manhattan.
A picture of my lovely lady taking a small bite of the Affogato- one shot espresso with one scoop vanilla ice cream on top. Delicious. I'm pretty sure this is a large international chain, but after eating that ice cream on top, neither my wife or I cared much.
Surprisingly affordable merchandise: $4.95 for the macchiato cup.
We had a great trip filled with much more than just coffee, but for the purposes of this blog, that's all she wrote. I'll end with one more picture that has almost no significance:
The wife and I on the public pier. You cannot see them in the picture, but there are about 30 drink vendors shouting at us from all sides. It's illegal to sell anything on the pier without a permit. Nobody had a permit, trust me.
Lord, thank You for the great time. I appreciate the ability to travel and experience new things. Thank You for that freedom. Bless the Church! of Park Slope that was so welcoming to us. Keep my head deflated and on straight. Here we go.

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1 comment:

  1. I just saw this blog. I write my coffee blog just about being New York City and drinking coffee... Glad to see there's even more places to add to my list!