NYC Coffee Scene
For those that don't know, NYC just so happens to be the place to get good coffee on the east coast. By and large, the east coast has been behind the specialty coffee curve, but things are starting to change. The city that never sleeps is now running on better tasting caffeine, due in large part to the vibrant specialty coffee scene and publicity from New York Times coffee and food writer, Oliver Strand. For those who live in or near the city and want a list of great shops to visit, Strand has contributed a list of coffee bars for the New York Times' extensive NYC guide app, The Scoop. The app is made for the iPhone, but they do have a web-based version. The coffee community continues to grow in NYC and this growth amongst baristas and coffee geeks can only mean better coffee for the everyday coffee drinker. The forefront of the coffee community is often seen at events that bring many of the city's baristas together for a good cause. Sam Lewontin (@coffeeandbikes), barista at Everyman Espresso and one of the nicest guys in coffee, has helped put together one of those regular events: TNT (Thursday Night Throwdowns) NYC. This latte art competition donates its proceeds to Bikes to Rwanda, an organization who provides cargo bikes to farmers who work on coffee cooperatives in Rwanda. Needless to say, there are some great things happening with the coffee scene in NYC which made my trip to NYC a couple of weeks ago all the more exciting.
Lucky for me, my wife enjoys a good cup of coffee so it wasn't hard to talk her into visiting some of the shops. Relying on recommendations from coffee friends, I was able to visit four coffee bars: Cafe Grumpy (Brooklyn), Third Rail, Everyman Espresso, and Gimme. We tried to visit RBC, but they were closed for Labor Day (Lame, I know; they should have considered my vacation). These shops showcased some of the best in specialty coffee. I had brewed coffee from three different brewing devices (Clever Dripper at Gimme, Chemex at Third Rail, and Kone at Cafe Grumpy) and one of the best cappuccinos I've had in a long while. The best brewed cup had to be the Guatemala Aragon brewed up by Tommy at Cafe Grumpy on the Kone (Yes, I am a geek and did verify it was the newest version). This cup had a real muted acidity that gave way to a sweet orange that I hadn't tasted in a Guatemalan coffee before. The best espresso based drink I had was served up by Sam at Everyman Espresso. This ~5oz capp reminded me of my old school coffee days when I would get a double short cappuccino and throw a raw sugar in....except this cappuccino wasn't bitter, was sweeter, and tasted like Sam had thrown in a chocolate bar when steaming the milk (so maybe it was nothing like those Starbucks capps I used to get). Add incredibly friendly baristas on top of this great coffee and you had one happy NYC coffee tourist.
Only had my camera out at a couple of shops but I've added some pictures from Third Rail and Everyman Espresso.
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$2,865.00When it comes to serving freshly brewed coffee in a commercial setting, one key dilemma has continually arisen. How can a commercial, high volume coffee shop make quick, fresh coffee without sacrificing quality? The solution has been either (1) to slightly sacrifice quality by making a large amount of drip coffee every hour or so, or (2) to preserve quality but to slow down production and possibly lose a potential profit with single-cup brewing (V60, Chemex, French Press, etc.). The brewing process that the Bunn Trifecta is built upon could be the answer to this significant dilemma.
The Trifecta has been anxiously awaited by the coffee community since Starbucks bought the rights to the Clover brewing system and took it off the market. At a fraction of the price of the Clover, the Trifecta could be the next-generation coffee system. The process is incredibly simple and efficient without sacrificing quality. It can be compared to a Syphon Brewer in its use of total immersion, constant temperature, and agitation of the grounds.
First, the hot water completely saturates the freshly ground beans resulting in a French Press like immersion. This takes advantage of the total extraction of beans that can only take place in full immersion brewing systems.
Second, Air is injected into the pressurized chamber which agitates the grounds. This further enhances extraction by exciting the grounds and water as they interact with each other.
Third, at just the right time (before over-extraction can take place), the pressurized air presses the coffee through a metal filter into the waiting cup. Similar to the Aeropress, this added pressure further enhances the extraction process and ensures a full-bodied flavor in the coffee. To read a full, hands-on review of the Bunn Trifecta by our coffee team, click here: Bunn Trifecta First Impression.
One of the top coffee grinder manufacturers has just released one of the most versatile grinders to date. With the capability of grinding from French press to espresso, the Mahlkonig Pro M provides the grinding range that would normally require two separate grinders. The grinding range combined with features like the "hands free" operation and break functionality help make this grinder ideal for both low-medium volume commercial settings and home use.
Few advancements in espresso machine technology over the past fifty years could be called revolutionary. The latest advancement featured in La Marzocco's Strada Electronic Paddle (EP) is one that has earned that title. Pressure profiling was first introduced into the mass market in 2009 by the Slayer Espresso Machine. The La Marzocco Strada takes this new technology to the next level by allowing the barista to save up to four pressure profiles at any given time. Along with the ability to save profiles, each group has a digital display that shows the temperature (±0.1°C), shot time, and current bars of pressure (±.1 Bar). The Strada perfectly combines the durability and workmanship of La Marzocco with the technology of the future.