Originally uploaded by alvin lamucho © busy!!!.
I find myself three weeks in to this New York experience and I've thrown myself into a crusade of sorts. I'm on a mission to find delicious coffee and so every work day from now, I'm going to do my best to buy my morning coffee from a different place en route to my office.
This is actually easier than it sounds, as I reckon I probably pass at least 50 places that sell coffee in the 8 blocks between my apartment and work. And that's just on the direct route. If I go one or two blocks out of my way, imagine the options I'll find!
The first week that I was back in the US, it was too easy to become a slave to Starbucks. There is one right next door to my office (let's face it, there's one next door to everyone's office!). I figured I had enough on my plate just settling in at work that I couldn't really be bothered mastering a different coffee shop's menu or ordering protocols.
Then K took me to Macchiato Espresso Bar, and the lady at the register knew what we wanted when we ordered a flat white - which I thought was lovely. Granted the barista called it a "no foam latte" but at least we can work with that. I love this place but so do many people, because it's always really crowded whenever I walk past these days.
For a while I was also going to Metro Cafe, literally across the street from my office. I like their coffee - it's nice and strong and not too milky - but the women in there are so surly that I find it hard to deal with them. I'm grouchy enough in the morning - I need a pleasant (but not too pleasant) person to greet me at the register. Picky, picky.
Then across the street there's that old staple, Pret A Manger. Nothing wrong with this place - their filter coffee is pretty terrible, but their lattes aren't too bad. I always seem to get served by the same guy on the registers and he's overly pleasant which kills me (maybe he's having too much Pret caffeine on his breaks!?).
Quite by mistake I found Aroma Espresso Bar. This place is also about a block from my office but is one of those places that is always so busy that I wouldn't go in there unless I was with someone else. Their coffees are milky but strong, but the sandwich menu (that I could see from where I was sitting) is so confusing I just can't do it.
Today's effort was Cafe'o on 3rd Avenue, a tiny little place accessible through the lobby of a large office building. The coffee was milky and not nearly strong enough, but the thing that ticked me off first was the fact that the lady on the register began serving the customer behind me before I'd even stepped out of the way. What's up with that?! It happens so often these days and it never ceases to drive me nuts.
Not only does this search demonstrate that I am clearly a loser in desperate need of a life, but it shows the amazing array of choice in this city. You literally never have to have coffee at the same place twice and I love that. Tomorrow, the quest continues.