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Mar 24, 2010 08:30 AM

Coffeehouses on LI update

OK, this is something I do once a year or so--mentioning coffee places on Long Island. The focus of the list is on places where coffee is the center of what the place is about, not on a club that happens to serve coffee along with jazz, or places that are closer to restaurants (where non-coffee items are the main sellers).

The newer places (at least, new to me).
Main Street Coffee in Bay Shore (inside the Drew Patrick Spa, 128 west main street): A relatively minimalist place: a couple of soups, some packaged sandwiches/salads, plus a nice-looking assortment of muffins and cookies (made there? Once source I read says so). The usual assortment of coffee drinks. Competently made espresso, which is an important thing to me. The tables are right near a fountain, and it's proven to be one of the most relaxing places around to have a cup.

Massapequa Perk: on my list for last year, but less than a year and a half old. Made-to-order Sandwiches and salads in addition to the usual stuff, and they've paid attention to the coffee side of things.

Older ones:

Aldo's in Greenport: coffee plus his own biscotti. Half the time I pass the place he isn't open.

Babylon Bean: one of my personal favorite. Beans from Hamptons Coffee; salads and quiches and the like.

Batata Cafe (Northport): used to be Barrister's coffee, IIRC. Drinkable, and I'll leave it at that; focus is less on coffee than it used to be and I probably will be taking it off the list.

Caffe Portofino: in addition to good coffee, they make a surprising number of things in-house, from sandwiches to perhaps the best assortment of baked goods of the bunch. I'm not a big sweets fan, but I really like their "breakfast cookie," which is more like granola than a cookie.

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 decent espresso, but never great shots.

D'latte in Greenport: Haven't been there since early fall; I like their affogato.

Georgio's, Huntington: focus totally on the coffee

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): 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.

Places that closed in the last year/two but still may be listed:
The Grind (Bellmore), Brown Dog Coffee (Kings Park), , Sea Cliff Coffee, Java Room (Farmingdale), Pisces Cafe (Babylon). EastEnders in Riverhead is allegedly reopening in May or so, but I haven't heard any updates.

I'm probably forgetting a few; I'll add as they come to me.

Caffe Portofino
249 Main St, Northport, NY

Coffee Nut Cafe
250 E Park Ave, Long Beach, NY 11561

Witches Brew
311 Hempstead Tpke Unit B, West Hempstead, NY 11552

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    1. I still like The Cup in Wantagh. Good house blend and yummy sweets.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

        I didn't put it on the list because I was only there once and so couldn't give a good assessment (the evening-only hours don't work for me) but the espresso I had there was terrible.

        1. re: Scott_R

          agreed. every coffee i've had there has been burnt.

      2. update: Mo'joe in Mineola, formerly MUD (omitted from my list) has closed.

        95 Mineola Blvd, Mineola, NY 11501

        1 Reply
        1. re: Scott_R

          I know - I was bummed - they had great sandwiches and was an interesting lunch option.

        2. Newest place:
          1014 Coffee House
          1014 Fort Salonga Road
          Northport, NY 11768-2273

          Coffee, gelato, desserts and a few basic menu items (pizzas, which I presume aren't made there) and a few other things; the selection, I believe, is to increase. Scores middle of the pack for LI espresso, by my standards. I'm not a sweets person, but the desserts look nice.

          Babylon Bean has changed hands; new owner is keeping the original concept and going further with it. He's done a lot of redecorating, and has some plans to expand the kitchen offerings. More to add as I learn it.

          1. And yet another...
            Sweetie Pies on Main
            181 Main Street
            Cold Spring Harbor, NY

            Just stopped by after having passed the place any number of times (usually going "d'oh!" when I realized I passed it again and forgotten to stop).

            Cute little place that uses a lot of local suppliers (pies from Youngs Farm in Old Brookville, candies from Azure Chocolate, etc.).

            8 Replies
            1. re: Scott_R

              ... and I've been back to Sweetie Pies. They actually have a cold brew coffee system. I should have taken a picture, but it's basically this:
              (no, that's not from the place; I have no idea where the shot was taken).

              I haven't tried it, but is sure looks neat.

              1. re: Scott_R

                Do they brew it strong enough? That's my main gripe everywhere. BTW, I really appreciate this thread of yours. Any feedback on Georgio's coffee?

                1. re: mcf

                  Hard to say, as I always get an espresso-based drink (an Americano, mostly; I don't add milk or sweetener to my coffee). But I can say that at least with the espresso, they pull a shot properly (if not as expertly as I've had the rare occasion to sometimes experience): not over- or under-extracted.

                  As far as Georgio's coffee, it's difficult for me to respond to that as I have a particular bias in that area that I can't really publicly post about. Long story.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Just a thought: cold brewing creates a VERY strong (but smooth) coffee. So strong that it must be diluted (with hot water or regular coffee) before serving. So I suppose you can ask for it as strong as you like (varying the dilution ratio).

                    1. re: Scott_R

                      I'll let you know after we manage to stop by and try. Thanks.

                      1. re: mcf

                        I should probably mention that (I presume) the cold brew coffee is likely not the default brew served, and would have to be specified.

                        1. re: Scott_R

                          ... and a piece on Sweetie Pies that was just in Newsday:

                          mcf: I don't know if this was in your "strong enough" question, but Sweetie Pies also makes iced coffee *cubes* for their iced coffee, so that it doesn't become dilute as the cubes melt.

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            I saw that, Scott, and took note of that good advice; must mean they care about not having wussy coffee. Will definitely have to mosey on over. Thanks.