Coffee First

Posted on by Kate Ball

I'm proud to <3 my new tee! 

If coffee were a person, I would stalk them. I'd have a restraining order in so many jurisdictions that I would have to leave the country. I'd be exiled to a deserted island, where I'd learn how to grow coffee plants and focus all of my efforts on extracting the deliciousness that I crave.

I'm such an addict, that I have visited hundreds of coffee shops in and around Brooklyn & NYC. Here's a list of my favorites & places you shouldn't pass by:

Gasoline Alley - There are several rival coffee shops in NoLita/NoHo/Bowery (Bowery Coffee being a decent alternative) but Gasoline Alley takes the cake. It's nestled in a windowed nook between Lafayette and Mulberry (you can enter on either side) with rustic-chic decor. Their menu is simply beautiful - the baristas are artisans; friendly and utterly competent. They craft each drink with perfection. Their Lattes (my favorite) either iced or hot are no-frills delicious.

Cafe Grumpy - I attended a Coffee seminar through a trial OkCupid event and learned way more than I could ever retain about beans, ideal brewing temperatures, equipment, roasting, desired pressure... and just like Chemistry 101, I don't remember any of it.  None the less, the class was awesome, cheap, and their tasting latte, cappuccino, americano were scientifically ideal (according to what I forgot they taught me). 


The ladies @ The West made me a frequent drinker card with a catch: Pokéballs. 

The West - The best lattes in Williamsburg. Hands down. Even better, the baristas who craft drinks at The West are incredibly... witty, zainy, brilliant. Expect your coffee with a punch of zest. The West also serves wine & beer on tap. They have a delicious beet salad, bagels (they're so not gluten free), and CARTOONS! Free wi-fi, and plenty of tables. 

Home Brews - One day, when fiddling with some personal accounting, I realized that I was spending at least $150 bones a month on lattes - which doesn't seem like the end of the world, but within a year - that's roughly two grand. In coffee. So, even though I was a person who was totally adverse to making my own brew - I picked up an awesome coffee maker off Amazon. I drink a lot of coffee, (who would've guessed?) so any old Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks blend simply wont do (mostly because I have self respect). I tried a plethora of blends - including $30/lb varities of StumpTown; after five attempts, I realized how unimpressed I was and continued on with my dream of finding the perfect coffee. After trying over 40 brands/blends, including bringing obtaining my own fresh roast directly from an ancient self professed "Athiest Catholic Priest/coffee bean grower & distributor" - I  I have discovered that Vulcan Mind Blend from Whole Foods is PERFECT. 

When I watch  The Next Generation on Netflix, I fall asleep by the intro.  So it's LOGICAL that Vulcans are my favorite way to perk me right back up!