Five fantastic NYC coffee shops

26 Feb

Love coffee and looking for a local’s take on the best places to warm up on a snowy NYC day (like, say, today)? Well, you won’t find better advice than the below post. Straight outta our Greenpoint, Brooklyn, bureau, I give you our Senior Coffee Correspondent:

OK, so Kelly's obviously drinking tea in this photo, but you get the point.

Three years ago, New York seemed to be the best at everything except coffee, light years behind Seattle or Portland. But with the introduction of the Clover (a machine that grinds and brews coffee in individual cups) and our burgeoning free trade coffee culture, gourmet coffee has found its way into the heart and soul of the city. Below are some of the best cups of coffee I’ve found. I’ve rated them according to six factors on a scale of 1 to 5. — Kelly Aston

Café Grumpy

Espresso: 5. The signature roast is Grumpy’s blend, which is amazing, and better than the (still delicious) single-origin guest espressos often featured.
Milk: 4.5.
Foamed milk blossoms into beautiful shapes of hearts and rosettas, thickening into a soft, smooth treasure.  Occasional lack of consistence.
Diversity of Selection: 4.
A rotating selection of single-origin coffees is accompanied by detailed descriptions of the flavors derived from each distinct bean.  Syrups not available.
Coffee: 5.
One of the only shops in the city with a Clover. Mostly medium roasts, bursting with flavor.  Drip is also available and is not bad.
Ambiance: 5.
Couches, non-pretentious music, free newspapers, Wi-fi.  Perfect.
Food: 2.
Minimal food selection, but what they have is great. Get the chocolate chip banana bread.

Joe, the Art of Coffee

Espresso: 4. Bold, sprightly, and slightly gritty.
Milk: 5.
Milk foaming that brings shivers to the spine.  Consistence is excellent, though each cup claims a personal twist.  Luscious, velvety, cloud-like texture blends deliciously in any drink, forming little works of art.
Diversity of Selection: 4.
Two or three types of drip.  Respectable tea selection.  Flavors available for lovers of sugary goodness.  Feeling adventurous? Get a dirty chai.
Coffee: 4.
Drip coffee is some of the best but does not blend well with soy milk.  Their single cup “drip bar” rivals the freshness of Clover coffee.
Ambiance: 3.
Often crowded and a little small, but tastefully decorated with local art.  Music is charming.  No Wi-fi.
Food: 3.5.
Bagels are fresh, dense and varied.  Delectable treats ranging from vegan cookies to homemade peanut butter cups are beautifully prepared by Jen.

Second Stop Café

Espresso: 4. Rich and hearty.
Milk: 3.
Inconsistent.
Diversity of Selection: 3.
Coffee: 3.
You serve your own drip coffee; it is pretty good.
Ambiance: 4.
Good music, but sometimes a little pretentious.  A newly expanded back area minimizes competition for tables.
Food: 4.
Pumpernickel everything bagels!  Tofu cream cheese.  A recently opened grill where more substantial items are made to order is great. Sizzling bacon out in the open could deter some vegetarians.

Everyman Espresso

Espresso: 4. Fresh, sweet, delicious.
Milk: 4.
Impressive latte art; thick but airy in texture.
Diversity of Selection: 2.
Situated within the CSC playhouse, this espresso bar is not intended to be much more than a refreshment stand, but is an amazingly good one.
Coffee: 4.
They have drip coffee.  It’s good.
Ambiance: 3.
Good music, hard seats.  Perfect temperature; bright lighting.
Food: 2.
Treats are small and unsubstantial.

Tarallucci e Vino

Espresso: 3.5. Mmmmmm, Italian espresso.
Milk: 4.
Hearty.
Diversity of Selection: 4.5.
Any drink you want, aside from extravagant American concoctions.  Several teas available.  Oh, and they have wine!
Coffee: 4.5.
Really, really good coffee.  They even foam the milk.
Ambiance: 4.
Comfortable couch-like seating; outdoor section (summer only).  The occasional loud family enters.
Food: 4.5.
Delicious sandwiches.  Vegetarian options.  Cheese plates.  Yum.

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