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

The good is that Zagat’s does cover the major local indie chains including Project Latte-approved ones such as Joe the Art of Coffee and Cafe Grumpy and throws in regional and national chains including Gimme! Coffee, Stumptown, and Blue Bottle. Randomly, Zagat’s Coffee Survey tosses in Jack’s Stir Brew, a local mini-chain with horrid coffee that apparently “commands a fanatical following” due to their “eclectic bluesy soundtrack” and “friendly counter staff.” Inclusion of the latter shop makes the entire article suspect and throws any of their other judgments under suspicion.

Abraco, E 7th St Abraço | East Village

Out of the hundreds of independent specialty and Third Wave coffee shops in New York City, including at least 50 that opened just last year, Zagat’s 2013 Coffee Survey includes just two: perennial New York City coffee article favorite Abraço; and relative newcomer, Toby’s Estate Coffee, possibly because Toby’s has a high-priced publicity firm behind them.

Third Rail Coffee | Sullivan St | Greenwich Village Third Rail Coffee | Greenwich Village

OK, so perhaps press time considerations didn’t allow for mention of excellent new roaster cum coffee hideaway, Parlor Coffee, tucked into the back of Persons of Interest Barbershop in southeast Williamsburg. But how about older, quality shops such as Greenwich Village’s Third Rail Coffee, with some of the most consistent baristas in New York City? Or Everyman Espresso, home of the recent 2013 Northeast Regional Barista Champion, Sam Lewontin? Or Culture Espresso Bar, doing quarterly rotations of interesting, national small-batch roasters through their high-volume digs on the boundary of Lower Midtown and the Garment District?

The list could go on for a very long time, and we hope no one’s feelings are hurt by being left out. We’ll get to you in future surveys of our own.

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