New York has run on coffee since at least 1668, when the first written reference to the drink in America noted that New Yorkers were imbibing a brew made of roasted beans flavored with sugar, or honey and cinnamon. Following the Civil War, our beloved borough became the center of the national coffee trade. By the turn of the 20th century, 86% of the nation’s coffee docked in New York Harbor, and John Arbuckle’s plant on John Street in DUMBO roasted more coffee than any other building in the world.
Today, Brooklynites are pioneering the “third wave” specialty coffee craze, and our local roasters are flavoring their drinks with a lot more than sugar or honey and cinnamon. In the name of investigative journalism, I set out to sample some of that local flavor. In Greenpoint alone, that means turmeric, lavender, licorice and other assorted delights. These are not your average pours and they’ll run you more than a regular coffee, but if you’re looking to splurge on something special, read on for Greenpoint’s most exciting coffee concoctions. Continue reading →
An excellent espresso is a cafe’s best business card. On Sunday October 2, 2011, Rebecca from I love Greenpoint, Mike & Charlie from Brooklynauts and I tasted a total of 19 espressos from every cafe* in Greenpoint in order to determine the champion of the Greenpointers 2011 Espresso Tour. The density of outstanding espressos in this neighborhood was impressive and made the tour difficult to judge, but we have a winner!
Each cafe was notified and generously donated 3 espressos. We judged using the following score sheet adapted from the World Barista Championship:
TASTE EVALUATION OF ESPRESSO:
• COLOR OF CREMA (hazelnut, dark brown, reddish reflection) 0/10 ___
• CONSISTENCY & PERSISTENCE OF CREMA* 0/10 ___
• TASTE BALANCE (harmonious balance of sweet/acidic/bitter) 0/10 ___
• TACTILE BALANCE (full bodied, round, smooth) 0/10 ___
• TEMPERATURE** (hot but not too hot to drink) 0/10 ___
• CORRECT ESPRESSO CUPS USED (60-90mL w/handle) YES/NO
• SERVED WITH ACCESSORIES (spoon, napkin & water) YES/NO
After judges’ individual scores were added, the highest possible score was 156. Results ranged between 97-142. (Only the top 3 scores are revealed.)
*We were unable to contact Ashbox and the cafe was closed on Sunday.