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Blog - NYC cafes

Best Coffee Shops/Café’s in NYC

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If you’re a tourist visiting the Big Apple, chances are you’re looking for something more unique when it comes to your coffee shop and café experience. Most places offer Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread and the like, but when you’re in NYC there’s a myriad of more delectable choices. As far as coffee goes, whether you like pour over, iced coffee, cold brew, cortados, cappuccinos, flat whites or just a regular cup of joe, this city has the talent and resources to make it. Baristas here put in the extra effort, adding the element of artistry into every brewed creation to give each customer a beverage he or she will fondly remember and, undoubtedly, crave again.

Another element specifically making coffee in NYC special is the exclusivity of the companies. Several of these shops and roasters, such as Brooklyn Roasting Company, Café Grumpy and Oslo Coffee, were created and only exist here, although not all. Some also have locations in other large metropolises, such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Either way, it’s probably a good idea to check some of these out while you’re in town, since back home (wherever that may be), you most likely don’t have any shops and cafes quite like these.

Oslo Coffee

Oslo Coffee, started by JD and Kathy Merget over a decade ago, first touched down in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but now has locations in both boroughs. They have cozy spots on the Upper East Side at E 75th St. and two locations in Williamsburg on Bedford Ave. and Roebling St. Frequent customers of this New York micro-chain keep coming back for the delicious coffee, top notch service and chill atmosphere. Some of the unique roasts they offer are Thor House Blend and Freya Dark Roast.

Cafe Grumpy

Another New York-based coffee chain that’s been around a while, since 2005 to be exact, is Cafe Grumpy, which was founded in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Today they have six retail locations, including shops in Greenpoint (193 Meserole Ave.), Park Slope (383 7th Ave.), Chelsea (224 W 20th St.), Lower East Side (13 Essex St.), Fashion District (200 W 39th St.), Grand Central Terminal (89 E 42nd St.), and a roaster located at 199 Diamond Street in Brooklyn. This shop is particular about where they get their coffee beans to roast their brews, which include Malacara B (El Salvador), Copo Mico (Honduras), La Bolsa – Los Encuentros (Guatamala), Nyarusiza (Rwanda), Los Santos (Guatamala) and Las Flores (Honduras). They also offer a blended espresso called the Heartbreaker Espresso, which is made from a mixture of Colombian and Ethopian beans, and a decaf Los Santos. Their shops are usually very intimate and filled with artist types (with some not allowing computers). While the coffee isn’t cheap, the baristas (who actually enjoy the art of making coffee) make it worth the price by making sure each cup is brewed to perfection. They also have one of the best logos: a grumpy old man face.

Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle Coffee, a larger third wave coffee chain started in Oakland, California, opened their first New York coffee shop in 2010. Now they have numerous locations in the city, which include Bryant Park (54 W 40th St.), Chelsea (450 W. 15th St.), Hell’s Kitchen (600 11th Ave.), The High Line (10th Ave and West 16th Street), Met Breuer (945 Madison Ave, 5th Floor) and Rockefeller Center (1 Rockefeller Plaza Concourse Level, Suite D) in Manhattan, along with 160 Berry St. and 85 Dean St. in Brooklyn. Their other locations are in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Some of their signature coffee blends include Bella Donovan and Beta Blend. They also provide single origin coffee, such as their Burundi Kayanza Mpanga, Ethiopia Sidama Homacho Waeno, Guatemala Alta Verapaz Santa Isabel and Kenya Kiambu Yara Peaberry. If that wasn’t enough they have their own varieties of espresso as well, which include 17ft Ceiling, Hayes Valley and Opascope, and a special decaf called Decaf Noir. This chain is so utterly passionate about coffee making they sell brewing equipment for other coffee lovers to purchase, like aeropresses, French presses, drippers, grinders, kettles, tampers and more, so they can perfect their own way of making coffee at home. At the Chelsea location there are also free brewing classes every Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m.

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters

Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters is definitely worth mentioning on this list. They have four shops: three in Manhattan, including 44 Charles St., 160 5th Ave. and E 45th St., and one in Brooklyn at 125 6th St with the roastery at this location. The Australian coffee import arrived in Williamsburg in January 2012. Some of their popular coffee brews include El Ramo (Columbia), Passeio (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Columbia), Kawah Maber (Congo), Los Romerillos (Peru) and the Filter Blend (Brooklyn). They’re decaf option is Santa Barbara (Columbia). There are also four espressos, which include La Escuela (Honduras), the Bedford Espresso Blend, the Flatiron Espresso Blend and The Local Espresso Blend. This company also has coffee-making classes, except these ones actually cost money. While they mostly concentrate on providing their customers with great coffee, they also have a full menu of food, including fresh avocado toast and sandwiches.

Brooklyn Roasting Company

Brooklyn Roasting Company has four locations, including three in Brooklyn: 25 Jay Street (where the roaster is located), 200 Flushing Ave., 50 Washington St., and one in Manhattan: 50 W. 23rd St. This shop has tons of different brews, which include Bali Kintamani, Brazil, Brazil Daterra, Columbia Santa Barbara, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru High Grown Andes, Nicaragua Gold Mountain, Sumatra Permata Gayo, Ethiopian Natural, Ethiopian Washed, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania Peaberry, 3D, Bespoke, Dark & Stormy Mocha Java and Winter. They also have a two espressos available: the Irish Espresso and Sumatra Espresso, along with two decafs: Ethiopian Decaf and Peruvian Decaf. While they serve up excellent coffee, they also offer delicious sandwiches, cookies, doughnuts, muffans and croissants.

Honorable Mentions:

Manhattan

-Stumptown (30 W 8th Street)

-La Colombe (Five locations: Wall Street (67 Wall St.), Tribeca (319 Church St.), Noho (400 Lafayette St.), and Soho (270 Lafayette St.))

-Intelligentsia (High Line Hotel at 180 10th Ave)

-Grounded Organic Coffee & Tea House (28 Jane St.)

Brooklyn

-Brooklyn Kolache (homemade Czech pastries) (Brooklyn) (520 Dekalb Ave.)

-Little Skips (941 Willoughby Ave.)

-Brooklyn Ball Factory (95 Montrose Ave.)

-KOS Kaffe Roasting House (251 5th Ave.)

-Black Brick Coffee (300 Bedford Ave.)

-Lazy Ibis (663 Franklin Ave.)



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