Coffee places on Long Island (redux)
OK, periodically, I post about coffee on Long Island, a particular obsession of mine (coffee, not Long Island). The guides aren't much help to me, I don't think--the Long Island Press's "Best of..." is a complete joke, and Newsday's interactive map,
is inaccurate--more than a few have closed. I emailed them updates, but they didn't bother to correct it.
Here is some current information from personal experience. There are other places, but I'm not noting coffee houses I haven't been to. I roast my own coffee, so this is my opinion of the brewed coffee (espresso, generally), not the whole beans. Long Island isn't the greatest place for espresso, so my reviews about bad->wonderful are relative.
Places on the map that have closed:
The Grind (Bellmore), Brown Dog (Kings Park), Sea Cliff Coffee (Sea Cliff; was supposed to re-open, but I haven't heard anything), Java Room (Farmingdale--90% sure they're closed, but I keep forgetting to check).
Places I've tried, in alphabetical order:
Babylon Bean: personal favorite. Quite good beans from Hamptons Coffee, large enough turnover that it's fresh (can't speak to the flavored beans, which I never have).
Batata Cafe (Northport): used to be Barrister's coffee, IIRC. Drinkable, and I'll leave it at that.
Classy Coffee (Huntington): used to be really bad (horribly over-extracted), but they've improved quite a bit. Haven't been recently enough to say much more.
Coffee Nut Cafe (Long Beach): had some mixed experiences, from OK to pretty good--but none actually bad.
Cool Beanz (St. James): use pod coffee for their shots. Pods (look like round tea bags) can make consistently decent espresso, but never great shots.
Massapequa Perk: opened in early fall and I had no idea they existed until now (I'm typing this as I sit there). Pretty good espresso; I'll be returning for more. Some of the best seats I've been in at a coffee shop (meaning, the table seats, not the lounges--I usually have my laptop with me).
Milk and Sugar Cafe: Eh. They focus on meals and desserts, not the coffee. Again, it's been a while since I've been there, but the last espresso I had was way over-extracted.
Urban Coffee (Greenlawn, and inside Book Revue, Huntington): in the middle pack for Long Island.
Witches Brew: cool-looking place and the people are nice, but the worst espresso I've had in recent years.
I definitely second Georgio's. Although I've moved to Manhattan since I first met Georgio on Long Island, I still stop by each chance I get, and if I can't get there, I call in orders. (He sends next day).
If you're interested in fair trade practices, he's involved with the farmers he buys from, while staying very reasonably priced.