Cafe Chronicles: Root Hill

I keep it no secret that I like good strong coffee with beautiful schiuma art and frothy milk.  Most times in New York, however, this good coffee comes with a painfully hip coffee shop.

Now, Root Hill is hip.  But, whereas some cafes feel exclusive, the decor and atmosphere at Root Hill accommodates a myriad of people.  They don’t play loud and obtrusive music, they don’t have seating so awkward you feel silly sitting with your coffee and they don’t have a space so small that you feel as if everyone is watching you.

What do they have?  They have dark lighting (good thing in my opinion), free wi-fi and good coffee.  The walls are exposed brick, the seats are spaciously layed out and the drinks come in old-looking cups.

See? It's dark!

They also serve food.  I once got a croissant there, which was very very good; however, the next time I went back, they didn’t have any.  It seems their pastry comes on a rotating basis.

The actual coffee is made from a top-of-the-line espresso machine.  It is rich and bitter with a full-bodied flavor.  You feel as if you are getting proper coffee, the real stuff that people should be drinking instead of Starbucks (though as I type this I’m drinking a Starbucks iced coffee, so I obviously do see a place for it in my life).  Last time I went, I got a fantastic au lait.  There wasn’t a hint of watery-ness, the milk was all warm and perfectly complemented the quite bold coffee flavor.

There are some aspects of Root Hill that end up being annoyingly hip and prevent frequent visits.  The location is just plain out of the way for the majority of people.   Similarly, the actual cafe can feel cramped and close due to cooling issues (i.e. a non-working air-conditioner) and lack of light.  The area is quite large, especially for New York, but doesn’t always feel that way.

Ultimately, despite its problems, the coffee at Root Hill makes the cafe a total win.  I may not go there all the time, but every time I visit, I am pleased with my coffee and the overall experience.  It may not be something to go out of your way for, but if you are ever in the area, check out Root Hill.  You won’t be disappointed.

Atmosphere: four out of five coffee cups.  Although the cafe could feel annoyingly hip, the practical lay out saves it from being prohibitive.  It’s rarely too noisy or too loud, which makes it a lovely place to meet a friend to chat.

Coffee: five out of five coffee cups.  Yes, it’s that good.  Bold, rich, slightly bitter and perfectly cut with the right amount of milk.  It is the reason you go to Root Hill.

Food: two out of five coffee cups.  Okay, so I’ve only ever gotten something from there once and it was quite good; however  I like consistency with the foods at cafes.  Thus, I’m only giving it two out of five.

Location: one out of five coffee cups.  Seriously, the location is the serious stinker here.  There’s really nothing to say besides, why?

Interested in Root Hill?  Here’s some information!






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