It was oh so high on my bucketlist. New York! Now I can cross it off. I have been there and it was amazing. I’ve explored the coffee scene and saw a lot of the things that you have to see. An awesome experience and in this blogpost I will tell you more about American coffee. One thing is for sure, they like big cups. And blends. And burning my mouth.
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, aswell for the time in the morning and aswell starting to eat meat again (I was a vegetarian for two years and just started to eat meat again just before I went to NYC). So, coffee. They just had black coffee. The original one. The big cups don’t lie 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.
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. Most important thing, and what I remember, was that I’ve met Dritan Alsela and I’ve made a coffee in front of him. You can check it out in my video: NY Travelvlog part 1.
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 aswell. At the end of my holiday I took a great flat white in here, but later more about it. I love Toby’s!
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!
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. Same concept. A coffee place next to the hotel lobby. I like it!
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 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 shit. 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 nap.
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 and eating 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 than maybe order a cold drink, so no burning mouth for me.
Time to rent a bike and drive 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 list to visit. 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 aswell. Well done Two Hands!
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 use 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 than you enter the bar. The atmosphere here is really good. The concept, or where it all begins 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. Almost a burned mouth again.
There are only two coffees left and than 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 brought a passionfruit doughnut from Dough with me and chilled a bit there. 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 coffees 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!