In the spirit of it being national coffee day (as if every day isn’t national coffee day), I thought I’d share some of the new and different caffeine joints around town. It’s not like I’m in a foreign country, but I guess the distance between everything has been so condensed that it’s like stumbling upon a new surprise on every corner.
Walking in New York reminds me of when I was in Barcelona and would walk to school every day. I think that trek might have been longer and tougher due to the hills, but I would pick out shops and restaurants to add my “to-do” list. I don’t think I really got around to everything on that list, but I can still close my eyes and imagine I’m walking the various routes around the ancient roman streets, the streets with parks by our home stay he most touristy and high-end streets – Passeig de Gracia, or even Las Ramblas.
Coffee. An expensive habit indeed, but it’s safe to say I’ve fallen prey to the coffee addiction. I love starting my day with a cup of joe, not only for the pep it puts in my step, but the taste. You may be sick of me saying this, but I still have yet to find “my coffee;” the order I can get at every coffee shop or restaurant around the world. For now I guess my fall back is a medium black coffee – hot or iced, depending on the weather. When I’m feeling adventurous in the fall, it’s a pumpkin latte or iced pumpkin latte. During other months it can be a vanilla latte, again either iced or hot.
Stumptown Coffee, New York
NY (w. 29th & W. 8th)
It originated in Portland, but has spread its reach to include locations in Seattle, Los Angeles, and good ‘ol New York City. My friend let me in on this little secret after she traveled back in December with her girlfriends. Because of the hipster/innovative and personal style of coffee making, there tends to be a long line of people waiting to order, but I would deem it worth the experience, even it’s just once.
That morning I was feeling an iced vanilla latte, which had a rich milky flavor and strong espresso punch. I happened to notice these gems of postcards while I was waiting in line and so I grabbed a few to send to my friends.
While I was writing some of the postcards, I noticed one woman had this neat looking bottle of coffee. I asked her about it and she said it’s the only thing she and her boyfriend order there. Now they say the people in New York are harsh and unfriendly. Well, in this account I beg to differ. She actually poured a little of the coffee in a cup and offered for me to try. Crisp and strong, perfect for an iced coffee; not to mention the adorable bottle it comes in. I’ll have to add it to my collection of misfit bottles that I’m hoarding in the kitchen. But, for the next time I go, the cold brewed batch is definitely in my order.
East Broadway & Peter’s Field
This is another “artsy” neighborhood coffee shop. They like to call their staff, peddlers, and these individuals are often “artists, writers, students, wanderers, doers, and dreamers.” It appears like a supportive environment where they utilize the barista’s talent to write blog posts, create the store’s website, plan events, and even host yoga in the shops. I have yet to attend one but am searching the market for cheap or free yoga classes.
From the inside and out, it felt like Pushcart was directly related to Stumptown. While there are more seats and tables at Pushcart, I preferred the atmosphere of Stumptown. The food selection is much more extensive with a fridge filled with yogurt and a case filled with croissants, muffins, and various mini-loafs. I happened to notice that they sold cold-brewed coffee in similar brown bottles ($3.25/$4), perfect for take-away. This was of course after I entered unsure of what to order, hurried through the line, (worrying I was taking too much time) and settled for a lukewarm latte. Was I trying to be a purist? No, they just didn’t’ happen to sell vanilla.
Overall verdict? Good environment, decent java, but probably wrong order for me. I’ll probably give it another shot, this time planning out what I’ll order – the cold brew coffee 🙂