7 Specialty Coffee Shops in NYC

7 Specialty Coffee Shops in NYC

It was oh so high on my bucket list. New York! Explore The Big Apple’s specialty coffee culture or maybe I should call it The Big Cups from now on, because big cups they like! My main goal for this trip was coffee. It all happened on a random night in summer. I was sitting behind my laptop and strolling down a website and the advertisement for the New York Coffee Festival shows up. I’ve been several times to the coffee festival of Amsterdam, and I started thinking. I could go to the one in New York and so I did. Now in January 2017 it is finally time to show you where I have been, which coffees I’ve tried and what I think about it.

Let’s start with my first coffee experience in the Big Apple. Well, actually it was in Brooklyn. At Sweetchick. A place famous for their chicken and waffles. I am sorry, I haven’t tried this. It was too early for chicken. So, coffee. They just had black coffee. The original one. The big cups don’t lie kinda thing. I started hardcore and I am still wondering how people can finish these cups. After like five sips I was already high on caffeine. And I thought I was an addict? Anyway, it was strong, black and big. Exactly what I expected. Still don’t really get the small straw in the cup. Is it to sip or to stir? I am confused or maybe still high on caffeine.

New York Coffee Festival 2016

The next few coffees I’ve tried that day were on the New York Coffee Festival. I’ve spend the whole Saturday afternoon wondering around the festival. Sipping and making coffees. I was mostly drinking cold brew, because it was crazy hot over there. Anyway there was cold brew in overload. Every stand was serving it and I tried some good ones. I wasn’t impressed though. I only found one nitro cold brew. I expected to find more of this. Maybe I was also very tired, jet legged and overwhelmed by everything, but I didn’t enjoy it that much and I don’t remember so much of it. A pity, but I had 5 more days ahead of me in NYC and I was going to take everything out of this!new-york-coffee-festival-2016

7 Specialty Coffee Shops

Toby’s Estate

That was all the coffee for the first day. On Sunday morning we also started the day in Brooklyn. I really wanted to go to the ultimate hipster place Toby’s Estate. The place looks amazing, and is always fully packed. Lots of coffee addicts hanging with their laptop, cup of coffee and avocado toast. I’ve had the best espresso here. It was a fruity single origin Ethiopian. Perfectly made. My friend sipped a cold brew, which was tasty as well. At the end of my holiday I took a great flat white in here, but later more about it. I love Toby’s!specialty-coffee-nyc-tobys-estate


Blue Bottle

Up next is Blue Bottle. So we are still hanging around in Brooklyn. I was looking forward to see the filter coffee bar and the roastery. People told me to try out filter coffee here, but as stubborn as I am I took an espresso. I’m not sure about the origin anymore to be honest, because it didn’t impress me. I guess it was a Colombian. It was quite a dark roast and over-extracted. I didn’t got any notes out of it. Such a pity. The place looks cool though!specialty-coffee-blue-bottle-brooklyn

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

That wasn’t all for this lovely Sunday. After seeing every part of Central Park by feet we needed another coffee boost. Time to relax at Stumptown Coffee Roasters established at the ACE Hotel. I’ve tried cold brew and nitro cold brew to cool down a bit. My friend and I both preferred the nitro. The place looks amazing. Reminds me a bit of Satan’s Coffee next to Casa Bonay in Barcelona. Same concept. A coffee place next to the hotel lobby.

Ninth Street Espresso

On rainy Monday morning I was dying for a cup of coffee to warm me up. We were  hanging around at Chelsea Market, which is an enclosed food market, so perfect for rainy days. For your daily caffeine there is Ninth Street Espresso inside. We sipped a Brazilian espresso. It was a bit dark and I missed some notes, but I think this espresso would be much better with some milk. To be honest  I am not a big fan of Chelsea Market. It’s a bit dark and t’s missing some atmosphere. But it could be that it was because the weather outside was shitty. After the market we went shopping, and on a certain point I felt so tired that even coffee couldn’t fix it. So instead of more coffee, I took a well deserved nap.

Brooklyn Roasting Company

Tuesday morning was about Brooklyn. We visited the Brooklyn Roasting Company in the morning for breakfast, before seeing the Brooklyn Bridge. I have to say the place looks amazing. There is a good vibe here. People chilling, working and sipping coffees. I could sit here all day with my laptop, a coffee and eat Dough doughnuts. It was my first doughnut in New York and wow amazing. Better than my coffee. I ordered a flat white and I guess it was their regular blend. What’s going on with blends in New York? Next to that I totally burned my mouth. The milk was too hot. Such a pity. But I did had a good experience here. Great place with the roastery inside, comfortable sofas, great area. I would definitely come back and then maybe order a cold drink, so no burning mouth for meTime to rent a bike and ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. I can recommend it, even if it takes quite some energy. Arriving at the other side of the bridge, we got hungry. Actually me and my friend are always hungry! After checking my New York Coffee Guide, I found out that there was Two Hands very close. Perfect because it was on my to visit list. They do good food and good coffee I heard. And it’s true! For me this was the best cold brew of the city. And the service was amazing too. Two hands up for this place!


Wednesday was our last full day in New York. We started the day on the bike and drove to Devoción in Brooklyn (top photo is taken here). The place was high on my list, because the interior looks amazing and I wanted to see the espresso machine. At Devoción they have a machine produced in the Netherlands, Kees van der Westen. I was working with the Spirit back in the Netherlands and I love to see the machine popping up all over the world. When walking in, you can see the roastery through a window and then you enter the bar. The atmosphere here is really good. The concept, or where it all begins with at Devoción is Colombia. All the coffees they have are coming from this country. From my experience Colombian coffees are better with milk, because of the notes (chocolate, caramel and nuts), so I took a flat white. It was tasty, balanced and sweet, but the milk was a bit too hot for my taste.devocion-brooklyn-new-york

Culture Espresso

There are only two coffees left and then this coffee tour comes to an end. When my friend enjoyed the beautiful view from Rockefeller, I enjoyed a beautiful coffee. Close to Rockefeller there is Culture Espresso. I already checked in my Coffee Guide that they serve nitro cold brew, so that was were I was going for. I bought a passionfruit doughnut from Dough around the corner. Took it with me and chilled for a while at Culture Espresso. The place is small, a bit alternative, but cosy and great service. I totally forgot which beans they use for the nitro, but I do remember that it was tasty. High on caffeine and sugar we finished the day at Urbanspace Vanderbilt. I can totally recommend to go there and enjoy the good atmosphere and food. We had Roberta’s pizza (oh yes pizza!). There is also a Toby’s Estate inside, but I reached my limit of caffeine for that day.The last coffee of my trip in New York City was actually in Brooklyn. Our flight was in the early evening, so we didn’t want to go all the way to Manhattan. (We were staying in Brooklyn) Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn is my favorite place of the whole trip, so I wanted to have my last coffee here. I took a flat white and guess what? The milk had the perfect temperature. Oh yes! No burned mouth. Thank you Toby’s!

2 thoughts on “7 Specialty Coffee Shops in NYC

  1. Hey,

    I’m going to NY in Sept so I’m happy to have some help with finding some coffee places!

    Where did you stay in NYC – would you recommend staying in Brooklyn? 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah! Thanks for your comment <3 So cool that you go to NY. September is such a good time to go! You will love it and be caffeinated all the time 😉 We slept in an okayish Airbnb when we visit NY. I think it is hard to find an affordable and nice place to stay, but I definitely recommend staying in Brooklyn. I really loved Brooklyn, could een live there. Have fun!

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