Greenpoint Winter Survival Guide: Advice From The Barista

Rob Garcia, General Manager at Champion Coffee, 1107 Manhattan Ave

There’s nothing more enjoyable than cradling a hot coffee in this insanely cold weather. In our next interview as part of our winter survival guide series, we spoke to Champion Coffee’s Manhattan Avenue manager Rob Garcia about his favorite cold weather drinks when visiting Champion or when you’re planning a day of hibernation at home. Check out our previous interviews here and here.

COFFEE: CHAMPION | 142 Nassau Ave, 1107 Manhattan Ave
Rob Gargia, General Manager

Greenpointers: What is your favorite type of coffee drink to get through the winter?

Rob Garcia: I feel like drip coffee is underrated in general and I know that that is boring, but I really would suggest it. People think that espresso has more caffeine, but drip coffee has twice the amount. I’ve been really enjoying just sitting with a drip coffee. If you do want an espresso drink, macchiatos are also underrated in my opinion.

GP: For people who enjoy a seasonal coffee beverage, what would be your pick?

RG: The turmeric coffee latte is very popular. I like our Cubano which I’d describe as a cinnamon cappuccino as it has cinnamon simple syrup mixed with the espresso.

GP: Are people still drinking iced coffee and cold brew here in the winter?

RG: Not really. I’m from Boston where people drink iced coffee all year, but here the cold brew sales have definitely dropped. Most people have switched from cold brew to drip.

GP: Do you notice a shift in people’s demeanor before their coffee in the winter?

RG: People are generally a little grumpier in the winter. Some people have said that they enjoy the Christmas tree we have up though.

GP: What do you enjoy most about the interactions you have with customers?

RG: I think there’s a difference between a fake conversation and a real conversation that you can have in the same amount of time. I really like it when people talk to you and it’s real. I’d always take a clumsier, real interaction than a fake, quick interaction.

GP: If people can’t face leaving the house for coffee when it’s really cold outside, what recommendations do you have for making your coffee at home?

RG: I recommend an Aeropress. It is so easy. It’s espresso, but you just heat your water, pour it over the coffee and agitate it and then pull your shot. I like that it’s quick and easy and when you make coffee at home, people tend to go overboard and have so much of it, but with that you won’t because it’s a shot of espresso. I like to make Americanos at home.

GP: What’s your favorite thing to do in Greenpoint in the winter?

I really like the wings at Keg & Lantern [97 Nassau Ave]. They were one of the first things I discovered in the neighborhood. I also like the noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods [648 Manhattan Ave] in the cold weather. They’re hand pulled noodles and they’re one of the best things I’ve ever had in my life.

About Melissa Loseby

Melissa Loseby is an Australian-born, Greenpoint-based entertainment publicist, writer and high-quality person.

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