Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Caffeine Rush: Coffee from Everywhere

Sadly, I am indeed one of those people who cannot function without a cup of coffee in the morning. Although I'm not too picky when it comes to the type or quality of the coffee I drink (i.e, I am in no way a coffee snob as I know next to nothing about it), I definitely do enjoy splurging a little on a nice, aromatic cup of joe, even if it costs more than I would normally like to spend on a beverage.  

After a long day at work, I was browsing the Internet when I came across this BuzzFeed post — hnnnngngnngngg, that Swedish coffee looks AMAZING — and was inspired to list the memorable and recommendable coffee shops and cafes I've visited in the city (and a couple elsewhere!).

*Note: I almost never drink my coffee black, which means I generally order lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, etc., so I can't speak for any of these places' drip or pour-over coffee, espresso shots or americanos.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Stumptown Coffee Roasters — Flatiron, Greenwich Village

Of course, the ever-famous Stumptown. Ahhh, such beautiful, beautiful coffee. I've had the mocha and the latte (both hot and cold), and every single cup I've ordered has been incredibly rich and delicious. The latte is very smooth, and the aroma of coffee beans is intoxicating. The mocha is also smooth, with a strong, but not overwhelming, punch of chocolate. Both, especially the mocha, are very strong, so if you're sensitive to caffeine like I am, I would not drink one of these past 3 p.m.

The staff is super friendly (and hipster), and they always make pretty latte art, which is fun to Instagram.

Latte ($3.75)

Mocha ($4.25)

2. Joe the Art of Coffee — various locations

Going to Joe for your cup of joe will not leave you disappointed. Their lattes are definitely comparable to Stumptown's: smooth, decadent and insanely comforting. The price is the same too ($3.75) — if not off by $0.25 — as well as caffeine strength. The only thing is the staff at Joe tend not to be very friendly; most of Joe employees are a bit curt.  

Chocolate walnut biscotti ($1.25) and latte ($3.75)

3. Intelligentsia — Chelsea

Yes, Intelligentsia finally made it to New York (a few months ago)!  This Chicago-based company is widely known in the Windy City and supplies its products to various cafes and restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada (including Lab in Ann Arbor, MI, for my fellow wolverines ;D). I'd always heard so many good things about their coffee but sadly never got a chance to try it until I went "cafe hopping" with a friend recently. 

I ordered a latte and stole a couple sips of my friend's mocha. Both floored me — they had a pleasantly silky texture with the perfect balance of the espresso and milk. They were a tad weaker than those of Stumptown and Joe, which I also really liked.

Dare I say it? I think Intelligentsia has the best mocha I've tasted thus far.

Mocha (can't remember the price)

4. Pushcart Coffee — Gramercy

Great, great, great latte. I've reviewed this before, so I'll just link you to the post instead of rambling repetitively on here ;)

Iced latte and a disappointing book

5. Marie Belle — SoHo

So, technically, this shouldn't be on this list ... since it's not coffee. But I wanted to include it anyway because it's definitely noteworthy and kind of close enough to coffee (? not really, but bear with me here). 

Marie Belle probably has the thickest and richest hot chocolate ever. This incredibly pretty and ornate chocolate shop has a cafe in the back, where you can sit to enjoy this super decadent beverage in a very elegant tea cup. The cakes I tried were good as well, but nothing beats the chocolate beverages here in my opinion. Plus, it's fun to look around, appreciate the awesome decor, well-adorned truffles and gift sets and nibble on some sample chocolates.

60% cacao Aztec hot chocolate (~$5)

6. Zurich, Switzerland, and Vienna, Austria

OK, these don't belong here either ... since they're not in New York. But again, bear with me — I just wanted to share! I did a short tour of Europe last April with the fam and obviously got a kick out of trying out the famous coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants.

The left, from a random cafe (can't remember the name) we stumbled upon in the heart of Zurich, was a cafe melange, I believe, which was everywhere in both Switzerland and Austria. Cafe melange is a beverage traditionally very similar to the latte, and this one, and every other melanges I had during the entire trip, was great. Not too sweet and not too bitter, it was perfect to sip on on a sunny Sunday, looking out the window to the busy city center. And it came with a really yummy chocolate hazelnut candy :P

(I wanna say around 3 or 4 euros for each?)

The one on the right is a cappuccino from Cafe Aida in Stephansplatz, Vienna. This one was noteworthy for the massive foam mountain! I had never seen a cup of coffee with that much foam on top, and it was just fun to look at and play with. The actual drink below it was delicious as well, of course.

That's all I have for now, but I'm sure this list will continue to grow as I crawl into more places in the city for my daily caffeine fix. And with that, I'll leave you with a cheesy quote about coffee:

Courtesy of BuzzFeed

1 comment:

  1. so I've only been to two of these places. MUST go check out that hot chocolate!!!!!!!!!