Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The 5 Best Coffee Shops in Brooklyn Now

 Brooklyn's Best Coffee


Coffee shops are a quintessential part of Brooklyn. There are probably more places to enjoy a cup of joe than places to catch the subway in this madding metropolis.  Because most New Yorkers live in small spaces, need free wi-fi and require strong coffee to move at such a hurried pace, there is a tireless and growing need for these java shops.

The Williamsburg Bank Building, just outside
downtown Brooklyn, and across the street
from the Barclay's Center. 





Many of the newest coffee shops feel more like downtown martini bars than morning breakfast shops, making the trip out for a coffee fix a worthwhile event.  And with the quirky but thought-provoking rotating art installations appearing in many of these java houses, mostly by aspiring local artists, coffee shops seem to be the coolest place to hang.

So where in Brooklyn is the best place to get a cup of joe?









WTF Coffee Shop



Aside from winning the top prize for Best Coffee in Brooklyn, this small shop, with the surprising name, also wins the prize for most difficult to find.  It's located on a quiet street just two blocks from Fort Greene Park, in a mostly residential area famous for its historic clapboard and commanding brownstone townhouses. But don't be fooled by it's quiet location, this place is truly for the coffee connisseur. As such, it is worth the trip for both the expertly prepared coffee and the calming tree-lined surroundings.




Blue Bottle Coffee

Also, at the top of the list for best Brooklyn brews (but somewhat reluctantly bestowed since it is really just an Oakland, Californian outpost) is Blue Bottle Coffee. And since it has two locations, one in Boerum Hill (Smith and Dean Streets) and another in Williamsburg (Lorimar St), and another rumored to be opening soon in Park Slope, this shop takes two of the coffee shop prizes.


Blue Bottle custom makes all of their coffee beverages, but one of their most unique and tasty preparations uses a nel, a cheese-cloth like filter that holds the grind. But, this preparation takes time, the water cannot be too hot and the pour cannot be hurried, otherwise the coffee's complexity deteriorates.  If done right, it's absolutely superb!

Devocion


In this Colombian outpost, where beans are flown in directly from Colombia, the setting is as thrilling as the coffee.  This shop not only wins for it's rich coffee flavors and delectable treats, but also for its sprawling, open setting. Filled with trendy Williamsburg bearded folks, its green wall and huge skylight transport patrons well beyond the city limits, to Bogata perhaps.

Swallow Cafe


Swallow Cafe offers strong, bold coffee and an assortment of delicious baked goods on bustling Atlantic Avenue (Clinton Street) in Cobble Hill. And its charming, rustic location, with bright, oversized windows, provides a perfect spot to sit and linger. It's also ideal for people watching, especially since celebrities sightings are common here, particularly in the morning. 


Cafe Regular du Nord


Lastly, the classic cafe -- if you are in the mood to be delivered from leafy Brooklyn right to old world France, then check out Cafe Regular du Nord.  With two euro-styled cafes in Park Slope (Berkeley Place and 11th St), it is the most popular hangout for a perfectly balanced, smooth, classic espresso drink.  Don't be surprised to see Hemingway pass through...



Jacques Torres (side mention)



Ok, so Jacques Torres may not be known for its coffee, but it is known for something close to it -- chocolate.  If it's chilly outside, and you've had enough coffee for the day, head to DUMBO and get an extra large, extra rich Wicked Spicy Hot Chocolate.  This delectable beverage is flavored with ground ancho and chipolte chile peppers and loved by everyone, including Giada De Laurentis, of The Food Network


Delicious bread centerpiece at Maison Kayser, which just opened in downtown Brooklyn.  Jury is still out on how well the coffee is prepared here.  

Speaking of Lattes and Cappuccinos...

I have a quick bone to pick.  There needs to be a clearer delineation between a latte and a cappuccino.  A cappuccino should be mostly foam with only a touch of milk mixed with the coffee.  If there is too much milk in a cappuccino, well then it is simply a Latte. Often when I order a cappuccino, I get a latte. Enough said!