All posts tagged brooklyn

  • Cafe Grumpy in Brooklyn, NY | Cappuccino

    featured

    Cafe Grumpy

    193 Meserole Avenue

    Brooklyn, NY 11222

    Cappuccino

    Greenpoint Grumpy

    It’s a great day for coffee. It’s a simple phrase that keeps me waking up feeling motivated and waiting until I get that first sip of the day. If there is one place I can stay rest assured that this statement will remain true, it’s Cafe Grumpy. Let me begin by saying it has been quite some time since my last write up, but I can assure you that it is not because I have lost any sort of passion. There just comes a time and place where I feel the need to login and share my experience on here.

    Cafe Grumpy is located in the quiet neighborhood of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY. They have 3 other locations in New York City, including stores in Chelsea, Lower East Side and Park Slope. Before even moving to NYC, Cafe Grumpy seemed more or less like a household name for coffee lovers, and I have learned after many experiences why they have built such a strong name for themselves. For locals looking to find this hot spot, it can be accessed by either the Nassau Ave or Greenpoint Ave stops on the G train. This location is specifically described as the “home” of Grumpy. They have dedicated the whole back of the store to a roasting facility in which they provide all the beans for the 4 locations across NYC. Using a restored Probat roaster, you can enjoy a cup of their freshly brewed coffee as you watch the masters of the craft working hard to make the flavors of your favorite drink come alive. Not to mention, they don’t hold a pretentious halo over their head with things like not allowing the customer to pre-grind the pounds of beans they are buying, or trying to control whether or not they are allowed to order a drink “to go” like some other Brooklyn enthusiasts. The atmosphere of Cafe Grumpy is one that brings in students and friends together at a place where you can get lost in a good book or conversation. The cafe also offers a book exchange for anyone looking to get rid of an old book and pick up a new read. The door here at this cafe seems to be revolving from open to close, and it’s not just because of the free wifi and plenty of seating to find your spot and get some work done.

    The cappuccino from Cafe Grumpy was one of the best drinks I’ve had since living in Brooklyn. The consistency of their “Heartbreaker” espresso is one that doesn’t seem to fail with whatever style of drink you are ordering. The flavors of the espresso can be distinguished with traits of lavender, raspberry, citrus and mollasses. You can clearly pick up on these floral notes with a straight shot of espresso or macchiato, where the sweeter citrus and berry flavors seem to prevail themselves in this cappuccino today. This is a preferred and a great balance in my opinion. A nice smooth berry and fruit flavor shot can be nice when enjoying an espresso, but shops seem to concentrate so hard on obtaining these traits today. Cafe Grumpy has brought a great balance in their espresso to be used in a variety of drinks across their menu and have found a way to remain consistent. I’m looking forward to running into their other shops across the city, and I hope you can find a minute for yourself today to take a break and enjoy a drink.

    – John, itsagreatdayforcoffee.com

  • Verb Cafe in Brooklyn, NY | Cappuccino

    verbcafe

    Verb Cafe

    218 Bedford Ave

    Brooklyn, NY 11221

    Cappuccino

    As my knowledge for coffee continues to grow and develop, so does my appreciation for particular stores who have seemingly developed their own niche styles in many different ways. Whether that would be a concentration of precise flavor tastes to art and interior design, I like to find time to fit it all within my schedule. In this particular case, I bring you Verb Cafe located in Williamsburg who have done a great job of offering a comfortable escape from the busy street of Bedford Ave. I’m sure many of you have seen the infamous “hipster bear trap” picture, which was taken just blocks away from this location, but the area isn’t exactly your most peaceful morning coffee experience. Verb Cafe welcomes you in for a break with plenty of seating indoors, as well as an outdoor patio to take in some sun rays.

    Verb Cafe is serving coffee by a local long standing roastery called Porto Rico Importing Co., who have been serving it fresh since 1907. I didn’t see any descriptions posted in the shop describing the coffee, but the barista was nice enough to give me a little background info. The competition for great tasting cups of coffee is high in this neighborhood, yet Verb has held their own by keeping things traditional for your everyday coffee drinker. I decided it had been some time since I went with a cappuccino, and with no pour over brewing in sight or espresso profiles highlighted, I was confident with my choice. The french italian blend of espresso from Porto Rico was definitely roasted dark, as the bite struck through this drink from the first sip. Appartently they are using this blend for a regular drip coffee as well, but they take the espresso roast time even further resulting in a dark and oily bean. I watched as the barista was preparing the shot and the extraction resulted in a very dark brown crema. Aside from my liking of a sweet tasting cappuccino, as a lot of third wave shops are offering, there is always room for a shop serving an espresso that isn’t scared to make it’s stage presence known. I’ve noticed that there are a decent amount of shops in NYC only offering quick service. Some shops are so quaint that they don’t offer any places to sit and obviously are catering to the “on the go” commuting customer. Don’t get me wrong, there is room for all styles of shops and not one is taller than the other, but today I was able to find a place that fit my mood well. In my opinion, the culture of coffee can only be defined as whatever you make it for yourself. Find your positive channels of why you like coffee. Whether it be a creative environment to meet new people, productive getaway, or simply the experience of enjoying the flavors of the one drink that keeps your daily motivation wheel turning, make it your own.

    itsagreatdayforcoffee.com

  • Little Skips in Brooklyn, NY | Macchiato

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    Little Skips

    941 Willoughby Ave.

    Brooklyn, NY 11221

     

    Macchiato

    I am a little late to be wishing everyone a Happy New Year officially, but I hope everyone has made their resolutions to drink more coffee. The new year has also brought the official 1 year anniversary of It’s A Great Day For Coffee! With over 85 reviews under my belt, and surpassing 20,000 online views to this site, I want to thank anyone and everyone who has ever visited iagdfc.com.

    This time I bring you another local gem location called Little Skips. Based just blocks off the Mrytle/Broadway stop on the J/M train in Brooklyn, the location seemingly falls right into place on this busy corner. It wasn’t in fact until the shop’s twitter started to follow me @greatdaycoffee where I knew this place even existed. It just brought the attention to me even greater on the importance of staying on top of your online presence as an independent coffee shop. All it took was that one person taking a few minutes to search for people interested in coffee, following them, and in turn, resulted in me returning back to this location 5 or 6 times since. Maybe you are an old school shop trying not to conform to the reality of what year it is, and that is fine too, but I just wanted to take a second and mention this particular situation.

    Little Skips is serving coffee provided by Counter Culture Coffee, who also have a New York City based training facility where they have a variety of focused labs, classes and seminars. I was first introduced to Counter Culture through Spyhouse Coffee back in Minneapolis, which is one my my favorite spots to visit when I am back there. They prepared my drink with the Espresso Rustico blend by CC using a La Marzocco Linea espresso machine. The Rustico blend packs flavor notes of almond and dark chocolate, leaving it to be a very smooth and balanced espresso. The macchiato brings the stand alone espresso to even a sweeter level with the great consistency of the smooth froth. Along with serving great coffee, Little Skips offers a great menu of breakfast and lunch items. Their vegan sandwich options are normally what keeps me coming back for more. The environment inside Little Skips will definitely make you want to take some time to relax with a book or unfold that laptop to get some work done. They showcase impressive artwork all over the walls, and seem to have a great relationship with local artists by having show flyers and local news magazines available at the front door. I am becoming more aware of the special niche locations throughout the city, and I hope you can take the time to peak your head into the next shop that catches your attention.

    John, itsagreatdayforcoffee.com

  • Blue Bottle Coffee in Brooklyn, NY | Espresso “Retrofit”

    bluebottle

    Blue Bottle Coffee

    160 Berry Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

    Espresso, Retrofit

    If there is one place proving that specialty coffee is on a new wave of popularity, it is Blue Bottle Coffee. This location has definitely been my favorite stop in New York City thus far. Located in Williamsburg, the surrounding area is over flowing with all different origins of restaurants, skateboarders cutting off taxi’s and creative influences to surely set the mood to grab a cup. Blue Bottle, just a few blocks off the Bedford Ave stop on the “L” train, invites you in with a large garage type door and a decent amount of seating and chill space. Any true coffee lover will be instantly impressed with their full roasting facility and training center located alongside of the shop area inside of Blue Bottle. I’ve already visited this shop numerous times over the past month or so, and there has always been some sort of taste tasting or practicing going on. This great attention to detail has not been overlooked in the community. Lines stretching out the door and onto the street is not an uncommon trait of Blue Bottle, and it is great to see people taking the time to visit a shop who concentrate on their craft day and night.  The “Retrofit” espresso is an original blend of coffees from Brazil, Guatemala, Sumatra and Ethiopia. This seems like an eclectic blend of origins with my experience, but it all came together in this quick pick me up. My order came just in time as a new barista was being transitioned onto the bar, which normally means some dialing in to do on the espresso machine. I was in no rush, and always have the time for the barista to pull that perfectly timed shot. Great flavor takes precision, and it was hard to not want to take this shot down all at once. I finished the shot in 3 sips and chased it with the provided sparkling water. Each sip was a different experience in itself, balancing a mild sweet red fruit and finishing with a bright citrus bite.  According to their “Retrofit” blend description online, this pull calls for 20g of coffee at a 32 second extraction time to yield 1.25 oz of espresso. I’d like to make it a habit of mine to look further into different techniques and recipes specialty shops are using for their espresso. It is obviously a foundation for a wide range of items on the menu and these type of shops concentrate very closely on the flavor details. I definitely look forward to trying more of their original blends from Blue Bottle. If for some reason you live in the area and have never had the chance to stop in to this location yet, you need to make it your next priority. Cheers.
    itsagreatdayforcoffee.com