Cafe Grumpy in Chelsea
The Manhattan branch of the Brooklyn coffeehouse recently opened on 20th between 7th and 8th, I used to walk down to 9th St. Espresso, and this addition is very welcome to the West Side.
Their espresso is fantastic, with a thick, caramel-colored crema. The cup they use is just right--not too big and not too small.
They also have brewed-to-order regular coffee made with a cool new-style machine.
I honestly didn't realize how mundane McStarbucks was until I tasted craft-brewed espresso. It's rich and creamy and almost sweet. No bitter coffee face.
They serve a few healthy-looking muffins, but I like to swing by Cafe Bergamote on 9th and 20th for a pain du chocolate. Peerless!
Yeah - the Mexican decaf on the Clover is fantastic. The coffee "poop" from the Clover also cracks me up - which is pretty sad for a 30 year old.
Their "house" espresso has a very vegetal taste to me, something like asparagus - I've encountered that at both Cafe Grumpy locations. However, their higher end stuff is much, much better. They definitely put a lot of care into everything they do, and I just may have a weird tastebud that fires "asparagus" when I taste their house blend. (I know that's not how the physiology of tastebuds work, but it's nice to oversimplify every once in a while.)
Yes, I think a majority of their beans come from Counter Culture, but I've definitely seen another brand around there - maybe Ecco Caffe? Also pretty sure I had some Gimme! at the one in Greenpoint a while ago.
I tried a number of cups of Clover brewed coffee this week at Cafe Grumpy. I was very happy with the cups. Great flavor and density, but still bright. The Kenyan was especially good. The beans are from Counter Culture Coffee in NC. They get their espresso beans from a different roaster.
SusanX, did you know there's a new branch of 9th St. Espresso on 13th between 3rd and 4th? It's in the lobby of a small theater company, so it lacks a little charm, but they're open late (until 10pm, I think) and the coffee is just as good as the original.
I'm not crazy about the espresso beans Grumpy uses, but I love the brewed coffee from the Clover.