Coffee Shops for serious coffee lovers in NYC

Being a major coffee lover and self confessed addict, I brace myself for the caffeine withdrawal I have to experience when I travel to some countries and USA is one of those. If you love your coffee and the thought of cream in your cappuccino makes you feel ill – and not just because of the calories, read on!

My first trip to New York was in 2000 and I admit,  I survived on Starbucks, but it was winter and there was absolutely no choice. Last trip to New York I had to travel to Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn to get a decent coffee, I like Brooklyn but it’s not convenient to go there everyday from Manhattan when you are a tourist with very limited time.

Fast track 4 years and it’s a cold January in 2012. I’m jetlagged and desperate for a piccolo latte before my conference and I refuse to go to Starbucks. I save Starbucks now for a hot chocolate or free wifi! This trip I had the benefit of my iphone and social media so after facebooking and tweeting that I needed a good coffee to the universe I was recommended in minutes Culture Espresso – 72W 38th St (between 5th Ave & Ave of the Americas -6th Ave) and Stumptown- 18thW 29th St (29th & Broadway).

I headed to Culture Espresso in midtown because it was so close to my hotel.  By the end of the first week I had frequented Culture daily for my piccolo latte, sometimes twice!  I admit I might have also occasionally indulged in a choc chip cookie or an almond croissant! The coffee at Culture is seriously good, on par with my local in Sydney so it felt like I had a home away from home, which on previous trips I had not had the luxury of.  It’s not a huge place but I always managed to get a seat, the baristas love what they do and the place has a great vibe.

The same quality coffee and service greeted me at Stumptown which is located in the Ace Hotel. Stumptown Coffee (originally from Portland) opened a roastery in Red Hook Brooklyn and the Ace Hotel cafe is the only one in Manhattan. Again there was a long but fast moving queue at Stumptown, which seemed to comprise mostly of regulars.  The 2 NYPD officers in front of me seemed loyal clients who were determined to ignore their scanner radios until they got their cappuccinos and French style pastries!

I also found great coffee at Ninth St Espresso in the Chelsea Market building and Toby’s Estate (an Aussie roaster) which a shop owner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn told me had just opened down the street so I had to visit!

I’m happy to say that New York City now offers plenty of options for great coffee!

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