I arrived to this year’s New York Coffee Festival empty handed, on an empty stomach and completely devoid of caffeine. I left the festival full of delicious baked goods, a free t-shirt in hand (courtesy of Brooklyn Roasters), and jittery with knowledge of new roasters and cafes in the area and also just plain jittery. The festival consumes three floors of the Metropolitan Pavilion with various roasters, growers, equipment manufactures and cafes. There were coffee tasting games, equipment demonstrations, latte art, art made of lattes, art about lattes, coffeehouse musicians, and did I mention baked goods? Sampling everything the festival has to offer would be a daunting task even for Balzac, thus I’ve limited my review to some of my top picks.
Apes & Peacocks: Founded and owned by Brandon Tully of Underline Coffee fame, this New York City-based Roaster had some of the most flavorful brews at the festival. The offered several small-batch roasts, I tried their Hambela Qirtita Goyo blend that had delicate hints of tangerines and orange blossoms. I am also a total sucker for their brilliant logo. You can find them online or at Underline Coffee in Chelsea (yes, under the Highline). Check out their website here.
Bluestone Lane: Full disclosure, Bluestone is my coffee go-to in the city. At the Coffee Festival I did not discovery anything new about Bluestone Lane Coffee, but the constant snaking line emanating from their both populated with already caffeinated patrons waiting for tiny, free lattes was ample justification for my affinity. In my experience, Bluestone staff are always friendly, knowledgeable, and capable of consistently making delicious drinks. There are several Bluestone Lane locations around the city, but my friendly, cappuccino-competent guide for my coffee journey on this particular day, Buddha, was from their D.C. location. Check out their website here.
The Ministry of Kaapi: The Ministry of Kaapi’s Decoction was the most delicious thing I drank at the entire festival. Did you know the cardamom and coffee work together? I learned that they do. Ministry of Kaapi sources their coffee from Southern India where it is grown under a canopy of cardamom and pepper. The result is a sweet, creamy flavorful concoction that I could drink year-round. Fortunately for my wallet, but unfortunately for my pallet they are currently exclusively online and in pop-ups in NY & Miami. Check out their website here.
Chalo: Chalo is Dutch company that produces a number of Indian-inspired snacks, including its Chai-Latte line, which the company accurately describes as a “Hug in a Mug.” While they have yet to come stateside, I’m hopeful that start showing up in stores here soon. The Vanilla Chai Latte was sweet and hit all the right notes. In addition to the Vanilla, Chalo currently has three other flavors: Masala, Lemongrass, and Cardamom (again!). Check out their website here.
It was all just coffelicious…Until next year! 🙂
Ted Reilly lives and eats in New York City and can count the number of times he’s said “no” to ice cream on one hand. As a teenager in the Midwest, his daily lunch diet consisted of mall pizza and/or Burger King. His passion for food developed as a college student in New Orleans where he regularly attended crawfish boils and sought out the best jambalaya. Since then he’s been an avid consumer of okanomiyaki, 回锅肉, and [anything] curry. He loves traveling but knows that you can find any dish you want somewhere in Queens.