Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hopping up on Coffee

In a city where Tall, Grande, and Venti Frappuccinos are sold in two coffeehouses of the same company on the same block every block you turn, it can sometimes seem like the only option for Java.  Don't get me wrong, I buy into the franchise and I am a proud gold card member myself.  But I decided to take a day to explore the alternatives and go cafe hopping.

First stop was Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea.

While it is a chain which has recently expanded in Manhattan, its Brooklyn roots are evident.  Don't ask me to articulate on that point because I can't really put my finger on it, but it definitely has a Brooklyn vibe to it.  Cozy and quaint, it offers various unique coffees- I tried both the Guatemalan and Venezuelan (I preferred the former as the Venezuelan was a bit too strong/sour for my taste).

Next stop was Think Coffee.

The organic coffeehouse is right around the corner from NYU and, naturally, populated with several students.  It not only offers coffee and tea (the chai is really good), but also beer and wine.  

While significantly more spacious than Grumpy, both are equally conducive to a nice chat with your company, a relaxing time out from the day, or a cram study session with a book (Grumpy frowns on laptops).

We took at quick look at McNulty's Tee and Coffee which had a vast and beautiful array of coffees.

Sadly though, they don't brew any so we weren't there for long.  If and when I feel like brewing some of my own Joe, however, I now know JUST the place to hit up.

Bonsignour Cafe was next on the list.  The atmosphere was not as inviting, and it's more food-oriented, but the watermelon lemonade was amazing (ok, admittedly I had to take a break from all the caffeine- they do have some great coffee options though)!

Of all of these cafes, the number one spot has to go to Grounded Coffee Shop in the Village.  This cafe not only has a tranquil,  "homey" sitting area but an unusual and interesting selection of exotic tea and coffee to choose from, all of which looked fantastic.
I couldn't decide on what I wanted until I saw the Nutella latte.  I did not select poorly.

In short, if you're ever in the mood to go to a cafe that does not have the option to pay with your iphone, there is a lot to choose from!

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