31 October 2019

New York Speciality Coffee Update — Autumn 2019

Earlier this month, I was back in New York for eight days. I was working and staying in the Financial District for most of the trip, and to the best of my knowledge, I've already explored most of the best speciality coffee options in the neighbourhood (my guide is here). This, combined with what seemed to be a relatively small number of new openings of independent speciality coffee shops since my last visit one year ago, meant I didn't get to visit as many new-to-me coffee shops as I had hoped. There were four or five on my list that I couldn't quite squeeze in this trip, and two more in the East Village (Frisson Espresso and Southern Cross) that have recently closed — alas, Google Maps hadn't yet got the memo!

These are the new-to-me places I did visit (all of which have also been added to my New York speciality coffee guide and map):

Baodega (Flatiron)
After two weeks in Malaysia, where I consumed more than my fair share of dumplings, I couldn't resist visiting a cafe in the Flatiron district that offered both dim sum and speciality coffee. Baodega has an excellent-value set menu at lunch, but as I was looking for something lighter, I went for six soup dumplings instead, which were really good. The coffee is from Kopi Trading Co, and although my cortado was on the long side, it was smooth and well-balanced. As I arrived during the lunch rush, the only seating was at one of the large sharing tables opposite the counter, but this just gave me the opportunity to eye up my neighbours' enviable feasts.

Baodega is located at 7 W. 20th Street nr Fifth Ave. Website. Instagram.

Bluestone Lane (Times Square)
I've visited several branches of this Australian speciality coffee mini-chain before, including one in DC, and have found them to be as good a source of proper piccolos as of minimalist, pastel-accented aesthetics. I was therefore pleased when a journalist I was meeting suggested we meet at the Times Square branch, just opposite the New York Times. It's a small coffee bar, with not much seating, but the location is very convenient for Times Square. My piccolo was very good, even if I was too late to stop the barista making it in a disposable cup.

Bluestone Lane is located at 11 Times Square nr Eighth Ave (and various other locations). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

Brooklyn Roasting Company (DUMBO)
I visited the DUMBO branch of this Brooklyn-based roaster mid-way through one of my 'usual' New York runs: over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn and then back over the Brooklyn Bridge. Located on Washington Street — now 'Instagram famous' as a result of the 'between the blocks' shot of the Manhattan Bridge that you can snap — the spacious, cosy cafe was a great spot for a quick breakfast. My cortado was well brewed, and the cheddar-jalapeño scone set me up for the rest of my run.

Brooklyn Roasting Company is located at 45 Washington Street nr Water St (and other locations). Website. Twitter. Instagram.

Felix Roasting Co. (NoMad)
Having seen photos of Felix Roasting Co. online several months ago, I knew that the NoMad cafe with its straight-out-of-a-Wes-Anderson-film interiors would be beautiful. But what about the coffee?

After having a run of cortados that were slightly longer than I usually prefer, I was keen to switch to filter coffee and was pleased to spot an Ethiopian Wush Wush coffee available as a batch-brew filter coffee. I became familiar with Wush Wush in 2017, when I just missed out on trying it at the London Coffee Festival. At Felix, the coffee's sweet honey and blackberry notes came through nicely, and sitting in the elegant, baroque cafe was a very civilised way to spend a coffee break.

Felix Roasting Co. is located at 450 Park Avenue South nr E. 31st St. Website. Instagram.

Gimme! Coffee (Nolita)
I have been to Nolita-based Gimme! Coffee before but it was a long time ago and I never photographed it for my blog. I was pleased to discover that it was just around the corner from my second hotel, and stopped by for a very fine macchiato on my way into the office on Friday morning.

The narrow coffee shop has just a couple of seats at the end of the counter, as well as on the bench outside, but they've managed to squeeze in a shelf with retail coffee beans and coffee kit, and local art adorns the walls. If you're in Nolita, this is a great place for a quick coffee stop.

Gimme! Coffee is located at 228 Mott Street nr Prince St. Website. Twitter. Instagram.

Partners Coffee (West Village)
I've visited Australian roaster Toby's Estate's Williamsburg and Flatiron cafes several times before, but not since the New York arm of the company's rebrand — and rebirth as Partners Coffee — earlier this year. As I was in the West Village on my first afternoon in the city, I decided to visit Partners' Charles Street cafe, in an angular, red-brick building on the corner of Seventh Avenue. I arrived not long before closing and so opted for a macchiato with the Bedford Blend espresso, which was a lovely pick-me-up after my flight from London. Single-origin espressos and pourovers were also available, and Partners' signature brightly coloured bags of retail beans are also on sale.

Partners Coffee is located 44 Charles Street nr 7th Ave. South (and other locations). Website. Twitter.

As I was spending so much time in the Financial District, I also re-visited two of my favourite three coffee spots in the neighbourhood, Black Fox Coffee and Cafe Grumpy (the third being Voyager Espresso). At Black Fox, I had a chocolatey Colombian Los Gigantes filter coffee from Ritual, and bought some fruity Ethiopian beans from Vancouver roaster Lüna, which I've been enjoying at home. As Cafe Grumpy's small, orange-accented coffee shop is often busy in the mornings, I stuck to the batch-brew filter coffee and was really impressed with the single-origin Nicaraguan coffee on offer. As I took my coffee to go in my HuskeeCup, I also got a 50¢ discount.

I had hoped to visit Nobletree's Financial District coffee shop, but in my pre-work rush, I couldn't track it down inside the sprawling Westfield World Trade Center (possibly because according to Yelp, if not their own website, it's closed). Instead, I visited another branch of Gregorys Coffee, close to my hotel on Broad Street nr William. The single-origin batch-brew filter wasn't ready yet, so I enjoyed a well-made cortado in this busy coffee bar. There isn't much seating, so it's best to fire up your reusable cup so that you can enjoy your brew elsewhere.

Finally, I was also able to stop by one of my favourite branches of Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, located on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. I got an Ethiopian pourover to go in my HuskeeCup, which kept me caffeinated on my walk over the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn.

For 80+ more of my favourite coffee shops in New York, please check out my speciality coffee guide; I've also included below my updated NYC speciality coffee map.

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