New York City evokes specific emotions in me the same as it does in many people. It is the most disgusting city I have ever been in, as well as the most beautiful. The smell of dirty trash, cigarettes, and urine coat one street; yet down the next you will smell fresh flowers, pastries, and roasted meats. It is truly so remarkable that something so overwhelmingly claustrophobic is home to over 17 million people.
It is ironic that I start my coffee tour in an American city that was once known as “New Amsterdam” and owned by the Dutch(fun fact) but New York City is so American as well as entirely global. This is part of what makes this city(and this nation) so special; its diversity
My favorites in this city includes Everyman Espresso, Boxkite, Intelligentsia, and obviously Shake Shack in Madison Square Park(never said just coffee!) There is so much coffee in the city that it is almost difficult not to find good coffee. Williamsburg, Midtown, Greenwich, SoHo; everywhere there is good coffee.
Blue Bottle has a presence in this city that is personally one of my favorites. Their presence is always consistently good coffee and consistently good service. I’m not ashamed to say I go to Starbucks for their consistency and nor am I for Blue Bottle. Their single-origin espresso was the best I had all weekend and their lemonade is always on point. Be careful, the Rockefeller center location can be mad busy.
By making the trip north of Williamsburg you will walk into Greenpoint, Brooklyn. An older Polish neighborhood that now houses many new hip, upcoming restaurants, bars, and cafes. Dining in any of the neighborhoods restaurants(Emse, Five Leaves, Le Fanfare to name a few) you will hear Brooklyn accents from one table and a couple speaking French at another. A very international neighborhood harboring many different cultures and people.
Budin is a Scandinavian cafe and bar located right on the main street heading to the waterfront and is one of the only cafes you can taste coffees from outside the United States in New York(the only other one I can think of is Box Kite Coffee in the Upper West Side). Currently serving coffees roasted by Talor & Jorgen out of Oslo; the whole bar was busy with people taking to-go drinks as well as working on their laptops.
There was one last box of retail coffee from Talor & Jorgen left which sparked a conversations between the barista and myself on European coffee. The barista, Marit, and I spoke of her home in Amsterdam and truthfully, it is very hopeful having someone to speak to about the places I will visit. Till this point my only communication with the entirety of the European coffee community has been through social media and email so speaking with someone truly was nice.
Overall I don’t know too much of the inner workings of the NYC coffee community. I’ve taken all my Specialty Coffee Association courses at Irving Farm’s training lab and met some really rad people but beside that, I don’t know too much. It is such a large city with so many people actively working and building their coffee community. I love New York and every time I visit I taste new things and meet new people. Spend time in the city & soak in the atmosphere and the size of it. You’ll never forget it.
Tips for coffee touring New York :
Buy the New York Coffee Guide
Drink lots of water/lemonade
Learn the metro & buy a metrocard
Enjoy your time in the neighborhoods & spend time in each one