A cup and a cut (uh may be not)

parlor1Long time no write, shame on me! I have been drinking a lot of cups since then… also finally got my espresso machine! I will talk about that later, stay tuned!

So this quick post to share a very good coffee address, still in Brooklyn, Williamsburg. I went there a few months ago and now really enjoy it each time I have the occasion: Parlor Coffee.

Before being a coffee shop, they are a roasting company and they do the hell of a good job at roasting. Parlor Coffee is run by Dillon, who previously worked at Stumptown and Blue Bottle and knows about coffee, in the right way. He is doing small batch roasting and I only bought twice but I really enjoyed the drinks. Go get some!

Now, may be it is more known for that, Parlor is also a coffee shop with a very uncommon setup. It’s setup in the back of a barber shop (Persons of Interest) in Williamsburg, typically where you would store the supplies. This must make it one of the tinniest coffee shop I have seen. Perfect for an espresso. And Dillon clearly knows not only how to roast but also how to pour good shots from his dutch Speedster.

Go there if you want a good espresso shot in the middle of Williamsburg, this place took over as the best espresso for me at the moment.

Go there if you want a fancy cut (personally not really my type of barber shop, I am more in the 10$ family neighborhood barber shop, for the few hair left on my head…)

Don’t go there if you want to sit, drink a 12 oz latte over 2 hours, working on your laptop.

If you want to drink Parlor somewhere else, you can also go to Kinfolk Studios in Williamsburg as well, yet an uber-hype place to go. They carry Parlor  now, I went yesterday and got a perfect espresso as well, kudos to the barista. Do like me, go in the middle of the week, early afternoon if you want to avoid a bit the Wb crowd and enjoy your espresso quietly…

I should talk about the coffee itself a bit more but don’t have time and need to go back to refresh my memory :-)

  • Kinfolk Studios
    90 Wythe Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11211

Cheers!

Black Delight after 3 weeks off

 

ImageAlready three weeks in Europe and three weeks without very good coffee. Don’t make any conclusion, there is good coffee in Europe, yes, but I had just no time to hunt for it!

Any how, I am these days in Hamburg and this morning on my bike ride to where I am working, I stopped at a nice place. Luc met the guy who runs it and told me about it. It was looking interesting I decided to go, and my cortado tasted like one of the best I had — there might be a relation with the 3 last weeks of abstinence.

Thank you so much! The place is called “Black Delight” (hmmm not sure I love the name), and they roast and have a small cute shop, including free wifi. It made my day!

The place also roast (somewhere else I guess as the place is too small), and sell beans. While I really liked my drink, I didn’t buy beans as the roast date was… November 9th. Quite suprising to sell a 3 month old roast in such a place, especially when the web slogan is “respecting coffee”! I will just try to find fresher one later. I still want to try.

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And also, I loved the tiles!

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Capri, c’est pas fini!

Ok, excuse the french title, it is very bad but I couldn’t help… too much reading of “l’Equipe” gave me this bad taste for crappy headlines!
the best iced coffee of NYC?

Caffe Capri is located on Graham Avenue in the east side of Williamsburg, close to the BQE, on this section of the street that is also called Via Vespucci. For those who don’t know this area, behind the few hip and very Williamsburgish stores and coffee shops, there is still in this area a very strong and still alive italian presence and culture that has, let say, a tiny bit more of authenticity. A community issued from one early wave of italian immigration to the US in the 2nd half of the 19th century. When I started to spend some time in the neighborhood, that is what I was in fact really enjoying. Pork store, italian bakery, small pasta factory… all this feels good!

So Caffe Capri belong to that family. It is the first thing you can’t miss about it, even without entering the shop!

But enter the store please, it’s way more than this. You will see why this place is a gem! Yes, a gem, a miracle, a permanent surprise, a delight, something else, the opposite of the coffee shop code… Enter the shop, order an iced-coffee, take it with no sugar may be, you might want an italian pastry with it, you will then touch the miracle. Do that a sunday mid morning, take your coffee out on the street and seat in one of these deliciously old rubber-covered chairs that could have belong to my grand mother’ house. Stay here till the time for sunday lunch comes. You should be in it, experience the delight!

Caffe Capri is THE shop that I don’t want to die. The one and only in this street that I don’t want to be replaced by a new Brooklyn Industries. The one that makes me travel without moving. Its weird and very rare opening time and its not-that-young ownership of course feed that thought but if that would happen, I wish I would just react, buy and run the place, as it is , for many more years, per pure respect!

Ok, you haven’t heard yet anything about coffee and might think I’m loosing it! I am only able to say a few words about the Iced Coffee, it is the only thing I drink there. It is like the place, different and lovely. “Best in NYC” they say… can’t say this exactly but it is unique and very nice and pleasant to sip. Unlike usual Iced Coffee, this one is always a bit sweet, even without added sugar. It isn’t made with ice cubes but with crushed ice, which contribute to make it sweeter I think. It has a different flavor, a different taste and doesn’t play in the same category has others. It is clearly not here about revealing the essence of coffee but the essence of the place! And it works!

Well, honestly, for more, come visit!

  • Caffe Capri
    427 Graham Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Roasting Company, it’s (almost) all right!

I’ve been spending a fair amount of my time in Dumbo lately, where I often work at Dumbo Startup Lab , a very nice take-it-easy cowork that I recommend. Clearly, I think Dumbo is my favorite work spot in NYC now. I stay on the east of the East River, can go there by bike or boat, and enjoy the energy and the always astonishing views you can get from it.

But ONE major reason why Dumbo rank so high to me is definitely because Brooklyn Roasting Company headquarter and coffee shop is there. Located one block from my cowork, at 25 Jay Street, it is the perfect spot for a morning americano (may be with one of their nice egg sandwich), the post-lunch espresso and may be one more drink at some point in the day.

So here we go, 5 reasons why it’s now one of my favorite coffee shops in town.

  • It’s really Cool, but not too Cool, not too Hip… compared to places like Stumptown or Blue Bottle shops. Don’t get me wrong, I usually love what I drink in these and find their shops very nice but, really, does it have to be this parade! This doesn’t make you feel comfortable! At least speaking for me… The Brooklyn Roasting shop is none of that and I feel home!
  • Their menu is really well done. As an espresso drinker, I can only be happy to have the choice between 5 different espressos! And not to forget to mention the prices which are really reasonable.
  • You can buy and bring back home a nice and constantly changing selection of coffee, in very nice cans.
  • The bar and the place in general is just beautiful and it’s nice to watch the roasting work closely.
  • Nothing to deal with coffee but the graphic design of all the stuff they do is just really well done and solid. Very very good design, which made me bought a few t-shirts there for friends and for myself. Kudos to the one in charge!

Of course, even more importantly, they also do a very good job on the drinks, I really like it! May be not the top of the cup but definitely very good coffee there and too many things for me to speak about it here!

There are a few things to be said though:

In my neighborhood (greenpoint), there are  a few places pouring their coffee. I won’t name them but two of the three places very close to my house are doing a terrible job behind the Marzocco and this is not helping… Here, I have the impression folks like Stumptown pay much more attention to quality control of their reseller. May be they should pay more attention to that!

Even in the main coffee-shop, I had a few times a barrista not able to do a decent espresso machiatto. Here as well, more training would be welcome!

but beside that, all good! Go check it out if you are in the area.

Le Fooding is missing something on Coffee and Brooklyn!

Gosh, long time no write here! I decided to catch up though I’ve been to many many coffee joints since then, which makes me wonder how to catch up.

What makes me write today is our friends from Le Fooding who are trying to occupy Brooklyn.

Le Fooding is cool (see www.lefooding.com). If you don’t know it, it’s a french foody guide, initially for and from Paris with good insights and reviews on restaurants and more importantly, good taste. I was clearly buying their guide every year back when I used to live in Paris. Despite loosing a bit of it’s crisp while growing-up (and adding ads and sponsors…) it is still good stuff.

So, Le Fooding has been going out of Paris and France and throwing events in different cities, one of them being New York. I didn’t know about that! I was really interested to discover this, especially as the event teaser content is good looking, engaging and appealing.

But very quickly, after scanning the nice page (that you can find here: www.lefooding.com/evenements/2012/le-grand-fooding/new-york/) I realized the non-sens! Looks like the only coffee experience you might expect from this event is to drink this industrial easy-to-make coffee, kind enough to sponsor the event (not to name it: Nesspresso). Nespresso is may be far better than most crappy office coffee machines, it’s really not delicious, so boring and also against many of the good principle that I thought people care for more and more (local, fresh, tracable, fair, organic, recyclable…)! How can you ignore the local coffee scene to that extend when so many good coffee around including more and more high quality roasters? How can you only rely on this sponsor which is just miles away from the values that are supposed to drive Le Fooding? Specialty Coffee should be invited to the table.

I just don’t get it, and most likely won’t go to Le Fooding Brooklyn. They surely don’t care but still, this is a bad sign. This is my sunday rant!

Tar Pit, in east Williamsburg or Greenpoint

I recently went with a friend to that little coffee shop called Tar Pit. Its a few blocks from my friend’s home, and now, the closest decent coffee shop around it so we decided to give it a try on that sunday morning!

The area is a little bit off north-east of the Graham avenue neighborhood in brooklyn, in that semi-residential semi-industrial area after the BQE, south Greenpoint and east Williamsburg. Looking at the exact spot, and looking at Wikipedia, I would say this is Williamsburg (1 block from Greenpoint) but some people call it Greenpoint… Where is the truth? Anyway,  not as many pedestrian traffic as on Bedford avenue. or in Manhattan, however definitely many people living there, and only a few blocks from Graham. Could be a good bet!

I would not write about it if my espresso had nothing remarkable. But it did! Very nice shot, dark but not too much, good crema, perfect extraction. Not too chocolate taste (yes I am in a period where i dont want my espresso to be too chocolate, for me it starts to do like oak in wine… ). Yummy!

The coffee is from a small local roaster called kitten coffee. I almost bought some beans but decided to keep it for later (have a bit of a stock now at home) but from the taste of my espresso it seems they do a real good job there (Luckily they look better at roasting than at making good looking websites or knock boxes…)

And about the place, what to say? Very nice and small cosy coffee shop, the staff was very kind. I missed a good cold glass of good water with my shot (I had not that good, not totally cold tap water). Barista does a very good job as I also tried the Capucino of my friend. Oh! And also, surprising for a coffee shop of that size, they do a slow drip japanese style cold brewed coffee. I didn’t try, it’s not my thing, but it is interesting!

in short, if your in the area and want a good coffee slightly off the main trails, go check it out! You won’t regret.

  •  Tar Pit
    135 Woodpoint Rd.
    Brooklyn NY 11222

A very handsome city

I love New York and I will love it more and more I feel. However, I must confess I had a hard time get along with downtown Manhattan. This might change!

My favorite coffee is coming to town, and it’s going to be downtown! That was a rumor I knew very much for a while but I was not totally sure yet. However, I read it somewhere now so I guess it ain’t anymore rumor stage.

If you haven’t heard about Handsome Coffee, you can know a bit more about them here and here. Handsome is my favorite coffee at the moment and it has nothing to deal with the fact that these folks are handsome… It is really about taste and flavor.. I can’t say for espresso, but for french press yes. This coffee transformed my french press which was a default choice, waiting for my new espresso machine to come as soon as possible… I don’t anymore see my press as a fallback instrument!

One other thing great. I heard somewhere that this Handsome shop might be a bit fundamentalist. Fundamentalism is not always a good thing but some time it is… I heard there would be no low-fat milk, no soy milk, no  half and half, no sugar only whole milk and dark juice! That is a great thing. No more young hipsta-hippie working lady with their yoga pad and their Chihuahua ordering soy vanilla latte to go before me in the line! Great! (I would love a coffee shop with only espresso and only porcelain if your ask me for more fundamentalism)

The other good thing is that my office will move to DUMBO so I will just have to cross the bridge to reach the handsome spot!

  • Handsome Coffee Roaster at Demi Monde (opening soon)
    90 Broad Street
    Manhattan