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.
Abraco: A touch of European cool in the East Village. Great espresso, even better baked goods.
Blue 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.
Cafe 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.
Chemex: De rigueur for coffee and design enthusiasts. Mia Farrow had one in Rosemary's Baby.
The Clover Machine: Once the cult darling of Williamsburg, this brewing method got 'Bucked, big time.
Cold Brew: More chocolatey, more caffeinated, more expensive than traditionally brewed iced coffee. Definitely the way to go.
Cupping: Just like a wine tasting, but with coffee and slightly more pretentious. Get used to it.
Duane 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.
French Press: The most annoying way to be served coffee at a restaurant.
Gimme! 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
Gorilla 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.
Intelligentsia: An elegant alternative to Stumptown. Their beans are used in some of the better cafes and restaurants of New York City.
Joe: With six locations and counting, the most successful independent coffee chain in NYC, and for good reason.
La Marzocco: An espresso machine that costs more than your first car.
Ninth St. Espresso: The East Village's favorite espresso, in Chelsea too.
Oliver Strand: New York's #1 coffee dork.
Pour-Over Method: As simple as it sounds. Brings out hard-to-find flavors, uses pricey, minimalist gear.
Siphon: How Bill Nye the Science Guy would brew coffee. Available at Eleven Madison Park, tableside. A treat for the whole family!
Single Origin: Coffee from one farm. I.E., not a blend.
The Slayer: An $18,000 espresso machine. Only for the trust-fund barista who has everything. (So, for no one.)
Starbucks: A place to use the bathroom and the internet.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters: A Portland coffee company with lots of cred, some of it deserved.
"Sweet And Light": Can only be ordered at a deli. Using this term at any serious coffee place is grounds for ridicule.
Third Rail: Serves the finest coffee in NYU Zone.
Third 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.
- Latte: Espresso, with velvety steamed milk, thinner than a cappuccino. (Photo)
- Cappuccino: espresso, with thick, pillowy steamed milk. (Photo)
- Flat White: Australian carryover, basically a small latte. (Photo)
Cafe Mocha: Same as a latte, but with a little bit of chocolate.
- Americano: espresso and hot water. (Photo)
Espresso con panna: An espresso with whipped cream. (Photo)
- Granita: Ice, half and half, whole milk, sugar, espresso, blended. (Photo)
- Americano Misto: Half Americano, half steamed milk. (Photo)
- Cortado: Espresso and three ounces of steamed milk (between a macchiato and a cappuccino) (Photo)
- Macchiato: Equal parts espresso and steamed milk. Like a strong baby cappuccino. (<a href="http://www.toomuchcoffee.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&btitle=CE&mid=&ceid=163">Photo)
- Cafe Au Lait: Equal parts brewed drip coffee and steamed milk. (Photo)
—Greg Morabito and Amy Sather with research from Mary Iampietro.