food 02.5.13

The Best Coffee in New York

THE MORNING LINE America's relationship to guns is thoughtfully examined by Benjamin Wallace-Wells in Adam Lanza's Arsenal. The only thing we have to fear is others' fear of fear.

In the 1800s, around Water, Wall, and Front Streets was New York's coffee district. The city brought in more coffee beans than any other port in the world. Most Americans got their coffee green, roasting and grinding the beans at home. Tontine's Coffee House, at Wall and Water, was built in 1792. That's where, on the second floor, the New York Stock Exchange had its beginnings. Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn have once again become coffee districts, easily proven as we sip through the city's best wakey juice.

Blue Bird Coffee Shop, 72 E. 1st [1st/2nd Aves.] 212.260.1897, serves Counter Culture Coffee and preps with care. Too small a place for lingering long.

San Francisco's Blue Bottle Coffee now has four locations in NY. Delicious, expensive, and the New Orleans Iced Coffee is pretty great.

The coffee we've had from Brooklyn Roasting Company in DUMBO has been notable for its balance—it's perfect. We'd drink it any day, anywhere.

Four locations for Cafe Grumpy, which roasts its carefully sourced beans in Greenpoint. Try the Kenyan Gatomboya.

Gimme! Coffee, with two locations in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan, has terrific coffee, skilled and friendly baristas.

Park Slope is lucky to have Gorilla Coffee, 97 5th [Prospect Pl./Baltic] 718.230.3244; if it isn't on your daily route, Whole Foods sells their beans.

Jack's, 138 W. 10th [Waverly/Greenwich Ave.] and 222 Front [Beekman/Peck], has made a name for itself by patenting their own brewing process: they stir during the brewing, which yields great depth of flavor without bitterness.

Since 2003, Joe has been raising NY's coffee game. Plus, their selection of muffins, doughnuts, and other carbs is unsurpassed. Lots of classes in brewing, milk steaming, and espresso to raise your home game.

Kaffe 1668, with two Greenwich Street locations (appropriate since it was opened by Swedish twin brothers), has a stripped-down Scandinavian aesthetic but no pulled punches where it counts. The 1668 refers to the year that, it is said, more New Yorkers began drinking coffee with breakfast than beer.

Philly's La Colombe Torrefaction now has three locations (Tribeca, Noho, and Soho). Like most things Philly—underrated, over-delivers.

Even if you don't like cappuccinos, order one (ignore the sign that calls it espresso with milk). You're welcome. Also, anything else from 9th Street Espresso. Three locations.

Everything old is pneumatic again, with tubes playing a conducive role in delivering green beans to roaster. That's the Roasting Plant story and they're sticking to it. And they should: there's superbly fresh coffee waiting for you at their two locations, 81 Orchard [Broome/Grand] and 75 Greenwich Ave. [7th Ave.]

Portland, Oregon's Stumptown Coffee Roasters has become the standard by which all other coffees are measured. Yes, their coffee devotion is frankly insane, but you can't argue with the results. Have it at the Ace Hotel, Broadway and 29th or at Cobble Hill's Cafe Pedlar.

The Aussies weigh in with Toby's Estate, the first U.S. outpost of the popular boutique roastery—it's in Williamsburg, of course.

More: Gotta love Popchartlab's Compendious Coffee Chart… Did we miss a great cup? Let us know in the comments section of our blog.

Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff, Pulitzer Prize-winning journo, looks at what has befallen his hometown.

See Now Then, the first novel in a decade from Jamaica Kincaid, is a a fierce reflection on the dissolution of a marriage.

Another marriage, another challenge. Charles Dubow's debut novel, Indiscretion, is a Gatsbyesque thriller.

Another thriller, though the milieu here is a small town in the small state of Rhode Island. The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns treads Stephen King territory, who blurbed enthusiastically about the novel.

M.I.T. and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz's unconscionable persecution of Aaron Swartz, which, according to his family, was at least a contributing factor in his suicide, is the darkest possible outcome in the world of hacking. At the other extreme, Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell, by Phil Lapsley, which takes place in the '60s and '70s, is all caper and lark.

Cory Doctorow, author of Homeland, has been a longtime advocate of relaxed copyright laws. In this followup to Little Brother, hacktivism is still the subject, in the person of Marcus Yallow, more compelling than ever.

It's 1957 when Carlene Bauer sets things off in Frances and Bernard, an epistolary novel based on the letters of Flannery O'Connor and Robert Lowell.

Flying Back to NYC (from 2011)

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