Exploring the Best Coffee Shops in NYC and Miami
New York City, the city that never sleeps. A city where 8,5 million people speak 300 different languages. In NYC, within 5 districts there are over 1,700 coffee shops – and 272 of them are Starbucks.
Many people probably associate New York City with a lot of movies, huge skyscrapers in Manhattan and the Central Park, where you can enjoy a good coffee and a lunch. A less known fact is that the price of Arabica is determined in the New York Stock Exchange and that the people in New York City drink 6,7 times more coffee than people in any other place in the US.
During my trip to the USA I combined two things I am passionate about – the love for travelling and good coffee. I visited about 15 different specialty coffee shops and I want to share the most special ones with you.
1. Gregorys Coffee, New York City
The first coffee shop that I visited in New York City was Gregory’s. It was probably the biggest chain that I visited during the trip.
There are 22 Gregory’s coffee shops in New York! The coffee shop itself was atmospheric and cosy and offered coffee made with many different preparation methods.
I had drip/filter coffee made with Gregory’s house blend, which was a mixture of three different variaties – Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica. The flavour was pleasant and fruity in the beginning but the aftertaste was sharp and a bit bitter. It looked very dark-coloured so I had an impression that it may be a bit overdosed. The barista said that most people prefer filter coffee over espresso-based drinks, and the baristas make about 10-15 aeropress coffees a day.
Having the morning coffee in my hand, it was time to go and discover the „Fearless Girl“ symbol and a boat trip to the Liberty Island.
2. Grumpy Cafe, New York-Chelsea
I found one of my favourite coffee shops on the next day – the Grumpy Cafe. It was located in one of the coolest „artsy & hipster“ districts in New York-Chelsea, surrounded by other stylish and unique cafés and shops. The coffee shop was pleasantly roomy and cosy, the barista knew the coffees well and was able to recommend something for every taste.
Espresso was very pleasant, with good mouthfeel and long aftertaste and worked perfectly with milk. I bought a single origin coffee from Burundi, called Shamba. It is named Shamba because 1 dollar from the profit of every sold package goes to the producer, who also cultivates mushrooms during off-season. By January 2017, they had supported the campaign with 7 000 US dollars (about 6 400 euros).
More information - http://cafegrumpy.com/shop/coffee/shamba-2/
3. Oslo Coffee Roasters, Brooklyn NY
The next day I discovered the Oslo Coffee Roasters by accident, when seeing people walking with coffee mugs branded with their name. They caught my eye so I searched for the shop and eventually found it.
The coffee shop itself was nice, small and a bit hipster, serving filter coffee and espresso-based drinks. I tried the filter coffee and it reminded me of our own Presidentti Colombia blend (Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm you know).
Cappuccino was also pleasant, with some nutty notes. I have to mention that the place had nothing to do with Norway or Oslo despite the name. They are all local roasters from Brooklyn.
4. Devocion, New York
A totally random discovery, Devocion, became one of my favorite coffee shops in NY. The owner of this coffee shop is a farmer from Colombia, so all the coffees are coming from Colombia.
The roasting takes places in the same space as the coffee shop, just like in Paulig Kulma. The café itself has a very pleasant atmosphere. Many green plants and yellow details like mugs and sunscreens gave a nice contrast. All the tables were full and there was a long queue, so the locals know where to get a really good cup of coffee! The barista said that people have more time on weekends to wait for and enjoy the coffee made with pur-over methods, so there was a queue for hario coffee. The coffee had a nice chocolatey and nutty taste, just like a good Colombian coffee should.
5. Panther Coffee, Wynwood, Miami
My definite favourite, however, was a coffee shop located in the cool artsy district of Wynwood, in Miami City. In addition to good coffee, I was influenced by the opportunity to enjoy it on a sunny and green terrace. I saw a lot of people enjoying the cold brew also, because it was a warm and sunny day.
The filter coffee was a real experience too – very rich, fruity, nice acidity, long and pleasant aftertaste. It was excatly what I was expecting. They also offered East & West Coast espressos, totally diffrent but both like pure gold in a cup.
The coffee was roasted on the spot, next to the counter. While I was in the shop, there was a cupping to figure out a new flavour profile and to find the best taste. Finally, I bought two of their house coffees to take home – Nicaragua and El Salvador.
6. Variety Coffee, Brooklyn NY
Variety Coffee, the local roasters from Brooklyn, just opened a new coffee shop in Manhattan the day I walked in. Filter coffee had a medium-dark roast, just like in most coffee shops I visited that offered filter coffee. This is the taste that New Yorkers love, a bit darker taste.
Coffee packages had a nice vintage style, so I bought one of their coffees from Peru. The place itself was bright and spacious, a well-located café to grab the coffee and enjoy it on a busy street of New York.
7. Seven Grams Caffé, New York
On the last day of my trip, already heading to the airport, I stopped by a coffee shop called Seven Grams Caffé. The barista surprised me by knowing about Estonia and wanting to offer a cultural experience from her homeland – a cup of nice Cuban-style coffee, which was a mixture of filter coffee, hot milk, a little bit of milk foam with sugar already put in. A new and interesting experience but a bit too sweet for my taste...
Finally, I would like to thank places like Telegraph Coffee, Ninth Street Espresso, COFFEED, Joe Pro Shop, Kava Cafe and Black Brick that also offered unforgettable coffee experiences. It should be recoginzed that American coffee world is big and wide, so there are lot of different and intresting coffee shops.
It is certainly worth to go back and try new coffee shops which weren’t on the list. The fact that 59 percent of American coffee drinkers select ’’gourmet coffee’’ shows that people care about good coffee, and it was also seen during my trip to the US. Thank you New York City and Miami for this wonderful ride and experience and see you next time!
Berlitz – Travel Guides, United States of America