Small Sips: Third Rail Coffee

One of my favorite things about drinking coffee is the built in break you get.  A bit of forced reflection time, if you will.  You get a cup—preferably ceramic but I ejoy the occasional paper one as well—sit down and must think about your day.  Sure, reading is okay, and writing or chatting are perfectly fine too, but the time is spent on enjoyable things.  You aren’t, for example, writing an essay or taking notes.  At least, you shouldn’t be.

There’s a great article on Serious Eats about slowing down and enjoying one’s cup.  What’s the joy in quickly downing a cup of dirty water?  That’s not how I want to spend any portion of my day.  My coffee time is a break from everything else.  An elevenses, if you will.

Last Thursday morning, after eating a perfectly fine croissant at François Payard on West Houston, I headed over to Third Rail on Sullivan Street.  Though I’ve passed it several times this was the first time I went in.  There was quite a crowd at first, but it eventually thinned out and I eased into a lovely corner window seat.

I had a latte, of course.  As I’ve said before, I always prefer when the latte comes in a smaller cup.  It’s more pleasant to take small, slow sips of such a rich drink.  The latte was milky, but not overbearingly so.  There was just enough soft, creamy foam on top (with some sweet latte art), which covered the coffee delightfully.

The coffee itself was also great, bright but deep if that’s possible. Though it’s rare that I find the temperature of coffee to be noticeable, this was distinctly the perfect temperature.  Not too hot, but cool enough to take a couple sips straight away.  It was complex, but not so involved that it felt difficult to drink.

Not to mention, I got to sit, talk and relax for the half hour it took me to drink it.  That, my friends, was the best part.

Third Rail Coffee may not be the most beautiful location and you may not be guaranteed a seat, but the atmosphere is lovely and the coffee good.  Isn’t that what matters most?

How do you enjoy spending the time you drink your coffee/tea/water?

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