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reviewed Cafe Du Monde

7 reviews · 1 follower · 8 years ago

I was in New Orleans for a week and decided to visit Cafe du Monde. It was 2pm and not super crowded. I ordered a black coffee and beignets. The coffee was mediocre at best. It was typical weak, undistinguished American coffee. Indifferent would be kind. On the other hand, though nothing came up to a a proper cup of coffee, there were better cups of American coffee. Ruby Slipper had an OK cup. I did think that Rouses Market had excellent beans--French roast breakfast mix. The coffee made from these beans has been terrific. Beignets drowned in powdered sugar were fine though a bit greasy. It is a typical New Orleans experience and was fun though the coffee indifferent.

reviewed Ost Cafe

7 reviews · 1 follower · 9 years ago

Ost Cafe is a wonderful addition to the East Village. It has a great interior space with tables and a counter. When crowded, which is often, it a bit too tight. The espresso drinks are excellent. The cappuccinos and macchiatos are perfectly made with a big rich lasting flavor. As they are full service cafe and not strictly a coffee bar, they have lots of food options. Despite having food, their coffee is still very, very good. Ost Cafe is a pleasant place to sit and sip coffee.

reviewed Culture Espresso Bar

7 reviews · 1 follower · 9 years ago

Culture Espresso Bar serves the best cup of coffee in mid-town Manhattan. That being said, it is not one of the great coffee places in the city. The atmosphere is OK. It is generally very crowded and not at all relaxing. Because of the location, I go often. I find the coffee itself good but not great. They cappuccino is clearly a notch above the chains but it does not come up to the great specialty places in the city. The Latte Art is good. They have lots of food options which, for me, is a sign that they are not a true coffee bar. If you are in the area, do go, it is the best in the area.

reviewed Ninth Street Espresso (Alphabet City)

7 reviews · 1 follower · 9 years ago

I am fortunate that Ninth Street Espresso is my "local" coffee bar. Their east side space---9th between C and D--is my favorite of their three locations. it filled with serious New Yorkers with few tourists. As I have been going to Ninth Street for years, I have had dozens of their cups--macchiatos, espressos, and cappuccinos. I am amazed at how consistant they are from barista to barista--though there are variations. For cups with milk, they know how to froth the milk to create micro bubbles and to blend the coffee with the milk. My only complaint (and a minor one) is their macchiatos are not "marked" with milk but are filled to the brim and Latte Art reigns. No matter what kind of coffee, the product is superb. The coffee is rich and complex. The taste makes your tongue tingle and one goes into sensory overdrive. I love how all their coffee lingers with you well after you have consumed your cup. I judge Ninth Street the best cup of coffee in the city.

reviewed Knockbox Coffee Company

7 reviews · 1 follower · 9 years ago

Knockbox is a special coffee experience. Located in an out-of-the-way area of Central, this small space should be a coffee aficionado's destination. Owner/Barista Patrick and barista Jonathan could not be more accommodating and instructive about all things coffee. I started with their single bean espresso. Not content to just serve up the espresso, it was important for Patrick to do a test shot to make sure the bean and pull were spot on. The Uganda Bugishu which was featured for the day produced a great cup. I then switched to a tasting mode of three different beans -- two central american and one african. I especially enjoyed learning about different brewing methods- vacuum, drip, and aeropress. Each cup was wonderful though I tend toward Central American beans. The best part of Knockbox was discussing the coffees with both Patrick and Jonathan. They are fonts of knowledge. Bravi! Knockbox is not for the casual coffee drinker. It is a place to go to learn and to enjoy.

reviewed Smitten Coffee and Tea Bar

7 reviews · 1 follower · 9 years ago

I was bowled over by the excellent quality of the coffee at Smitten Coffee and Tea Bar. Testing a serious coffee place for me involves trying a espresso, a cappuccino, and a macchiato which I did over a few visits. The espresso was perfectly pulled. It had a remarkable crema whose color was right out of the text book. The coffee was complex and intense and the aftertaste pleasantly lingered for quite a while. On another visit I tried a cappuccino which could not have been more perfectly made. The micro-bubbles in the steamed milk was perfect and mixed well in the coffee not overwhelming it at all. The best was the taste was perfect blend of coffee and milk which left you with a satisfied aftertaste. Macchiatos usually end up being mini-cappuccinos but not here. The meaning of macchiato is "marked." That is an espresso with a touch of steamed milk. Again, the micro-bubbles were perfect and there was just the right dollop of milk and not a fancy latte art drink (i.e. the mini cappuccino). Like the other drinks, it was expertly pulled. The beans are freshly roasted and very high quality and is evident upon tasting. Smitten is a small place with a creative counter where you can comfortably sit on one side or stand on the other. Very well done. They have a beautiful gnarled wood table for sitting down and spreading out. Also are outdoor tables. The owners--husband wife team-- are a font of coffee and tea knowledge. I pressed them about various coffee trivia--issues involved in tamping, pros and cons of different grinders and the like. It was fun to learn from them. By the way,I was peckish and ordered a panini. I did not expect it to be very good but it was. A place to be sought out for serious coffee drinkers.

reviewed Caffé Essenza

7 reviews · 1 follower · 9 years ago

I am a New Yorker who loves a proper cup of coffee. As I was in the Kwun Tong area (a bit out of the way), I was excited to try Caffe Essenza. It is in a new building and the cafe itself is in a space that is open, light, and very well done. I arrived at 11AM and there was only one other person in the cafe. I was greeted by one of the two baristas. I decided since it was still the morning, I would do the traditional morning coffee--a cappuccino. I had a butter croissant along with it. The coffee was nicely presented--the latte art was well done. The disappointment came when I tasted the coffee. It was an absolutely ordinary, unremarkable cappuccino. A good cappuccino should leave you with a nice coffee/milk taste and this had nothing--warm liquid. I can only attribute it to the quality of the bean. Very sad. So the surroundings were wonderful and the coffee sank to the level of a chain.

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