Friday, December 22, 2006
CC: Cafe Grumpy
What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: Cafe Grumpy
Location visited: Manhattan, NY
(224 West 20th Street)
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]
On another excursion with the lovely girlfriend, we spent the day wandering the bustling metropolis of Manhattan. We took in Christmas sights, had an interesting walk through Harlem, and even spotted this curious vendor (Luscious Aixa's Paper) out of Hoboken who had some of the nicest leather-bound parchment.
Towards the end of the day, we make our way back home from the South St Seaport with an agreed stop at Cafe Grumpy (I begged), a Brooklyn-based coffeehouse that had recently sprouted a Chelsea location (Chelsea is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan). The overall operation has received much acclaim and I figured a small detour for an after-dinner coffee stood as a wonderful idea.
My premonition couldn't have been more right. To get straight to the coffee, I stood amazed at the wonder that met my eyes when I ordered my coffee: a beautiful java contraption that makes individual cups of coffee of french press quality in a mere 40 seconds! I didn't believe it could happen for I have seen too many "pod" coffee machines that boast superior coffee and yet fail, but after watching the barista work this wonder machine, I stand convinced.
*After later research, I discovered it's called a Clover 1s and is supposedly the first of its kind on the market.
Moving on, the coffee itself was Counter Culture, a growing coffee operation out of North Carolina that seems to emphasize social conscience and high quality. I swear I've had experience with Counter Culture before, a bad one at that, but the coffee I had at Grumpy was tasty and full-bodied with very little bitterness (could it have been just the machine that made a difference???).
The espresso also tasted great. The shot was pulled with finesse and it tasted very smooth and not too bitter. Their espresso blend comes from Ecco Cafe, yet another company I could have sworn I had a bad experience with but the blend that Grumpy uses for espresso was pretty good.
The tea was Art of Tea, an operation that seems to place emphasis not only on the taste of tea but on outward aesthetics as well. From the looks of it alone, the products look appetizing though I can't vouch for it from experience.
To sum it up, if you frequent or visit Manhattan or Brooklyn, you need to make a stop by. It's worth the effort.