Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea) West 20th
224 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212 255 5511
Best coffee in New York; possibly the entire Atlantic Seaboard.
They began roasting their own beans in September 2009 (at Greenpoint roastery in BK, New York). Before that, that only bought wholesale from the best roasters in the United States (including Novo Coffee, Intelligentsia, Ritual Roasters, Blue Bottle, Counter Culture). Both Kris and Maher visited Cafe Grumpy in October 2009, their initial visit to this location. The clean and bright interior of the locale is very appealing and it becomes immediately apparent that Grumpy is very serious about coffee and about great customer service. The baristas all are very well trained and coffee knowledgeable. The machines are all of excellent caliber and the cleanliness is very impressive.
Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea) from the front.
Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea) from the entrance. Old friends catching up inside.
There is no wi-fi here and the philosophy of the management is that people come to Grumpy to socialize, drink coffee, and NOT get lost in their electronic equipment. Given the popularity of iPads and smartphones these days, I’m not entirely sure that the management is completely batting back the gadget-aholics. That said, the quantity and volume of conversations here is noticeably more than in many other shops visited in DC and elsewhere. Without a much surprise, during this October trip Kris and Maher visited at least five shops – including Abraço, Everyman Espresso, Mud (East Village), Juan Valdez – and Grumpy easily bested the rest.
Cafe Grumpy cappuccino with latte art included 🙂
Coffee here was plentifully available in retail whole bean variety and drinks were made carefully and wonderfully. UPDATE: In November 2010 a friend recently brought me a pound of ‘Heartbreaker’ from New York. This is the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to try their self-roasted blend (formerly custom blended by outsourced roasters). It rocks as espresso. Not bad for drip coffee but wouldn’t recommend it.
Blue Bottle has recently opened its own location in New York and now Grumpy is roasting its own beans. As the top of the specialty coffee segment broadens its customer base, competition among the best is increasing. Following the increase in market size and competition among the major players, there has been a very interesting diversity of business strategies employed by the big names. More to come on this…
– Maher Hound
Posted in Cities, New York, Shops
Tagged Barismo, Baristas, best coffee in new york, best coffee in ny, best coffee in nyc, best of ny, cappuccino, Chelsea, espresso, gourmet coffee, Grumpy, NYC, quality, roaster, roasters, specialty coffee, West Village
1736 Massachusette Ave
I visited Simon’s Coffee in Cambridge, MA, after reading great reviews about this place on coffeegeek.com and yelp. Finally I decided to check this place out on my last day during my Boston trip. Visiting the cafe was easy as it was just about two blocks from Porter Square Red Line station.
Simon’s Coffee has been operated for 7 years. It now uses beans from George Howell’s Terroir and Barismo. Both were local roasters with great reputation. I ordered a latte, which was prepared from Barismo’s Sonata blend. The blend consisted of Brazil moreninha formosa, Ethiopia koke, Guatemala nimac kapeh, and Costa Rica helsar de zarcero. The blend was very good. It was medium mild, which was my favorite, and the aroma was great.
Although the day I visited the cafe was the same day as the White Chrome barista competition in Boston and, according to Simon-the-owner, his top baristas were at the competition, the latte I got was still very good and I was not disappointed. The staff were also very friendly. Keith and Christine (the barista) greeted me with smiles and we had lively conversation while I was waiting for my latte. Simon was not at the cafe when I was there but I ran into him later that day at the White Chrome competition. He was a very friendly guy and that explained a lot why his staff were friendly with no attitude. I also learned from Simon that the owner of Barismo had worked together with him for years before starting the roasting business.
The cafe was very crowded during my visit, which testified the quality and reputation of the place. Most of the customers seemed to be local and ranged from students to young professionals. It is indeed a nice place to get great coffee in Boston area. I will definitely visit Simon’s again. See you soon, Simon… I am looking forward to the even better shot of espresso you promised me next time I visit Boston!
Posted in Beans, Boston, Shops
Tagged Barismo, barista, Boston, Cafe, Cambridge, Coffee, George Howell, gourmet, review, roast, Simon's Coffee, specialty coffee, Terroir, White Chrome