Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

28 DEC

Bluebird Coffee Closes, Becomes Lazy LLama

Lazy Llama Coffee, a new East Village cafe, is coming to the space that most recently hosted the second iteration of Bluebird Coffee. Confusing, I know. Here’s the entire history of this space as a cafe.

Simon Sips, E 1st StSimon Sips circa 2009

Back in 2008, Simon Sips – of Bryant Park kiosk fame – opened an attractive small plates / craft beer / specialty coffee shop in this space, which unfortunately failed quickly due to a delayed opening that occurred smack dab at the beginning of the financial crisis and a bitter winter.

Bluebird Coffee Shop, E 1st St Bluebird’s first incarnation circa 2010

It then became the first incarnation of Bluebird Coffee, a fave of ours, for friendly service, baked goods and quality coffee, but the owners sold out to Alexander Hall of Cafe Madeline and Milk Bar, and more recently, Brunswick Cafe, in 2011.

Bluebird Coffee Shop, E 1st St Bluebird’s last stand

This second incarnation lasted until present day, late 2015. Alexander Hall also recently closed a nearby branch of Brunswick Cafe on Clinton Street (formerly known as Rosella Coffee). Humorously, to me, EV Grieve attributes the Bluebird closing in part to this being a competitive area for coffee, when in fact, there is no good coffee within many blocks. Hopefully Lazy Llama will hold up in this regard.

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29 OCT

Third Wave Guide to Astoria, Queens

Queens Kickshaw | Broadway | Astoria

Five years ago there was no Third Wave coffee scene in Astoria, Queens, and even after The Queens Kickshaw opened in downtown Astoria, it seemed like nothing else was going to take root. Then, almost all at once, several shops opened along 30th Avenue including Kinship Coffee Cooperative, Gossip Coffee, and Astoria Coffee.

60 Beans | Ditmars Boulevard | Astoria | Queens

A few cafes opened almost at the same time in the Ditmars section of Queens, as well, with only two of them falling under our purview, 60 Beans and OK Cafe.

We wrote a Third Wave coffee roundup for Queens on the Astoria scene. Hopefully you’ll find it useful.

We also created a companion Astoria Third Wave coffee Foursquare List. Go save it and explore them all.

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10 SEP

Flushing Queens Cafe Roundup

Flushing, Queens Cafe Roundup

A few years ago there was only one quality Third Wave coffee shop in Flushing, Queens, but now there are three, although they are widely spaced geographically. There are also a few other shops that are favorites of ours for working, for the most part much larger than their counterparts in the remainder of the city.

I’ve written a roundup of these shops for Chopsticks & Marrow, the Queens-focused food blog and created a companion Foursquare list to help you keep track.

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08 MAY

Press Tea Closes After Circling the Drain

Press Tea | 7th Ave S (Perry St) | West Village

We were never fans of the signature drinks at Press Tea, but the elegant Apartment Therapy-style living room was appealing, so we’d use it as a place to meet friends or read. Their schtick involved preparing pre-ground tea in a modified espresso machine, producing drinks that were bitter and astringent.

However, the last time we visited, they had jumped on the crossover Asian cuisine bandwagon, dishing out bad Asian “tacos,” cramming a full kitchen counter into the small space but losing the charm conferred by the interior design in the process.

Apparently this was a desperation move; according to Eater, they have closed.

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30 AUG

Third Wave Coffee Shop Openings 2014 | New York City

Brew Bar | Mast Brothers Chocolate | N 3rd St | Williamsburg | Brooklyn | NYC

Although Foursquare seems to no longer be supporting Lists, at least not in mobile, we still find it the best way personally for us to keep track of cafes and coffee shops we want to visit, both locally and when we travel. Not only that, it’s the best way to for Project Latte to organize lists of cafes thematically so that we can share them with our readers without building lots of custom infrastructure into our website.

Budin | Greenpoint Ave | Greenpoint

We are a little behind the curve in getting our Foursquare list of Third Wave Coffee shop openings updated for 2014, but we’ve compiled our ongoing research into tips, added them to the list, and affixed the cafe opening date to the end of each tip. Please note that we only include independent Third Wave or Specialty Coffee shops, high end tea shops or cafes, and selected others, such as the new Mast Brothers Brew Bar. We might also include a chain cafe if it’s from a foreign country or has something else amazing about it.

There are most likely a bunch of cafes and whatnot that have opened so far in 2014 that we don’t know about, so please feel free to let us know in the comments if you don’t see your favorite in the list.

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27 FEB

Zagat’s 2013 Coffee Survey, Caffeine Buzz, Misses the Boat

Zagat has published their 2013 coffee survey, entitled Caffeine Buzz, and not only does it require Flash to view, it only brushes the surface of currently available coffee options. We’re as disappointed with the survey as The Shot: Coffee Ratings website is, although since our focus is New York City, we’ll analyze through that lens.

Cafe Grumpy | Meserole Ave | Greenpoint Cafe Grumpy | Greenpoint

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10 JAN

Overview: Project Latte’s 2012 Roundup of NYC Coffee Shop Openings

Cappuccino | Toby's Estate Coffee | Williamsburg Cappuccino | Toby’s Estate Coffee

At least 50 new coffee shops, and one lone tea parlor, opened in New York City in 2012, and those are just the ones that we know about. There’s also an addendum that should have been included in the first article. We neglected to mention Pushcart Coffee‘s expansion, opening their second branch in what they call Peter’s Field, east of Gramercy.

We rounded up these openings in three separate articles as follows.

Cafe De Cupping | Northern Blvd | Flushing Cafe De Cupping | Flushing

Part 1: International and national chains opening their first shops or extending their reach into New York City, and local businesses opening new branches in different parts of the city. At the time we wrote the first article we had hopes of wrapping it up in two posts, so we also shoe-horned in cafes that opened in former coffee deserts and frontiers such as Upper Manhattan and Flushing, Queens.

Happy Bones Coffee & Publications | Bond St | NoHo Happy Bones Coffee & Publications | NoHo

Part 2: Independent, unaffiliated coffee shop openings in Brooklyn.

Parlor Coffee | Persons of Interest Barbershop | Havemeyer St | Williamsburg Parlor Coffee | Persons of Interest Barbershop | Williamsburg

Part 3: Independent, unaffiliated coffee shop openings in Brooklyn.

Although we add new shop listings as they open, we don’t usually get around to reviewing until sometime after. The best way to keep up with openings of Third Wave and specialty coffee shops is to follow our always-updated Foursquare list, which will always show the last six months worth of cafe openings in New York City.

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06 JAN

Project Latte’s 2012 Roundup of NYC Coffee Shop Openings Part 3: Manhattan

Altogether, nearly 50 new coffee shops, and one lone tea parlor, opened in New York City in 2012. Thirty were in Manhattan, with Project Latte covering a good portion of those in Part 1 of this three part series, devoted partially to businesses extending their reach with new branches into and around the city and partially to shops opening in coffee frontiers.

Happy Bones Coffee & Publications | Bond St | NoHo Happy Bones Coffee & Publications | NoHo

This article, Part 3 of the series, rounds up the 12 independent, unaffiliated shops in Manhattan, just as the second part covered shops meeting the same criteria in Brooklyn.
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02 JAN

Project Latte’s 2012 Roundup of NYC Coffee Shop Openings Part 2: Brooklyn

After a more exact accounting, we’ve figured out that nearly 50 independent coffee shops and cafes opened in 2012 in New York City, with just over half in Manhattan, a couple in Queens, and the remainder in Brooklyn, of which we made it to all except a couple.

Cappuccino Reynard Cappuccino | Reynard at Wythe Hotel

This is the second of three articles. The first, covering 19 shops, was devoted for the most part to existing businesses that extended their reach into new neighborhoods with second or third shops, but it also included a section devoted to cafes opening in places such as upper Manhattan and sections of Queens where no specialty coffee had gone before.

This article, Part 2, is devoted to the 15 unaffiliated shops in Brooklyn, since beyond geography, there isn’t much thematically to group these shops together except for the fact that an awful lot of them chose Stumptown as their coffee roaster. The third article of this series will cover similarly unaffiliated shops in Manhattan.
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08 DEC

Project Latte’s 2012 Roundup of NYC Coffee Shop Openings Part 1

Madcap Espresso | Joe Pro Shop | Chelsea

The end-of-year lists are going to be pouring out soon (take that as a pun if you like), so we decided to get a head start on ours.

By our count, around 40 independent coffee shops and cafes opened in 2012 in New York City, with just over half in Manhattan, a couple in Queens, and the remainder in Brooklyn. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of coffee shop openings; there are probably a bunch we missed, but these are the ones we made it to.

This article covers international and national businesses that opened new locations in New York City, local chains that opened new branches around the city, and new shops in areas that previously had little or no cafe culture. A companion article, to be published soon, will cover one-off shops, nearly all of which are Brooklyn-based, with a few in Manhattan.
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