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The Ultimate NYC Coffee Glossary, a Decoder for Beginners

Pour-over at Blue Bottle. (<a href="" rel="nofollow">photo</a>)
Pour-over at Blue Bottle. (photo)

New Yorkers are snobby about a lot of things—what they wear, what they read, what they listen to, and most importantly what they eat and drink. Please see the coffee snob, the pizza snob, the cocktail snob, the sushi snob. And here now, for the people who don't know what the hell they're talking about, some primers. Welcome to A Snob's Guide.

Guess what New York: there's finally great coffee in this city, and it's getting better every day. If you don't want to look like a dope around your espresso-snob friends, here's a handy guide to everything you need to know about New York coffee, in glossary form.

2011_abraco1.jpgAbraco: A touch of European cool in the East Village. Great espresso, even better baked goods.

2011_blue_bottle_1.jpgBlue Bottle Coffee: Heavy on gadgets (pour over-bar, Japanese slow drip machine), eco-chic, Danny Meyer-approved. Hot baristas, plenty of merch, no place to sit.

2011_cafe_grumpy1.jpgCafe Grumpy: One of the biggest bean selections in NYC, laptop-friendly, with their own Greenpoint roastery. Known to play "Sex Farm" by Spinal Tap at 11AM on Sunday.

2011_chemex1.jpgChemex: De rigueur for coffee and design enthusiasts. Mia Farrow had one in Rosemary's Baby.

2011_clover1.jpgThe Clover Machine: Once the cult darling of Williamsburg, this brewing method got 'Bucked, big time.

2011_cold_brew1.jpgCold Brew: More chocolatey, more caffeinated, more expensive than traditionally brewed iced coffee. Definitely the way to go.

2011_coffee_cupping1.jpgCupping: Just like a wine tasting, but with coffee and slightly more pretentious. Get used to it.

2011_duane_sorenson1.jpgDuane Sorenson: The coffee messiah of Portland, OR. Owner of Stumptown, doer of drugs. Preaching to the choir at The Ace Hotel, Cafe Pedlar, and a cafe near you.

2011_french_press1.jpgFrench Press: The most annoying way to be served coffee at a restaurant.

2011_gimmee_coffee1.jpgGimme! Coffee: Ithaca-born coffee shop finds friends in Williamsburg, makes money, gets another place in Nolita. You know how it goes.

Gallery: Various Brewing Methods Around Town:
click on each photo for more info

2011_gorilla_coffee1.jpgGorilla Coffee: The staff walked out of this Park Slope cafe and told the press about how the owners were jerks. Management sued the Times; the paper filed a motion to dismiss the case.

2011_intelligentsia1.jpgIntelligentsia: An elegant alternative to Stumptown. Their beans are used in some of the better cafes and restaurants of New York City.

2011_joe_art.jpgJoe: With six locations and counting, the most successful independent coffee chain in NYC, and for good reason.

2011_la_marzoca1.jpgLa Marzocco: An espresso machine that costs more than your first car.

2011_ninth_st._espresso1.jpgNinth St. Espresso: The East Village's favorite espresso, in Chelsea too.

2011_oliver_strand1.jpgOliver Strand: New York's #1 coffee dork.

2011_pour_over_coffee1.jpgPour-Over Method: As simple as it sounds. Brings out hard-to-find flavors, uses pricey, minimalist gear.

2011_siphon1.jpgSiphon: How Bill Nye the Science Guy would brew coffee. Available at Eleven Madison Park, tableside. A treat for the whole family!

2011_beatles1.jpgSingle Origin: Coffee from one farm. I.E., not a blend.

2011_slayer_coffee_machine1.jpgThe Slayer: An $18,000 espresso machine. Only for the trust-fund barista who has everything. (So, for no one.)

2011_starbucks12.jpgStarbucks: A place to use the bathroom and the internet.

2011_stumptown1.jpgStumptown Coffee Roasters: A Portland coffee company with lots of cred, some of it deserved.

2011_wendy_snapple_lady1.jpg"Sweet And Light": Can only be ordered at a deli. Using this term at any serious coffee place is grounds for ridicule.

2011_third_rail_coffee1.jpgThird Rail: Serves the finest coffee in NYU Zone.

2011_really_big_wave1.jpgThird Wave: Making coffee culture more like wine culture, with wealthier producers and snobbier consumers. Everyone's a winner.

Gallery of Popular Coffee Drinks:
click on each photo to find out what's in each drink.

—Greg Morabito and Amy Sather with research from Mary Iampietro.