I can be a bit biased. Can’t everyone? But, before we get into sweeping generalizations, let me clarify. I can be a bit biased about coffee. In a city like New York, where there is so much good coffee readily available, the lines that snake outside of Starbucks still shock me.
There isn’t exactly anything wrong with Starbucks, I just don’t want to spend my time waiting on their lines and my money on their “cappuccinos”. Especially not when I’m in New York! When I buy coffee, I want high-quality and a unique experience. Of course, not everyone is looking for the same atmosphere and sense of ritual surrounding their coffee drinking. Some people prefer the Starbucks experience. But wouldn’t it be nice if they could serve better coffee?
I went to Think Coffee on my last Friday morning before leaving New York to get a cappuccino and relax. Think Coffee is a mini-New York chain. All their locations are downtown. There are an astonishing number of them, so I figured my time would be well spent seeing what the fuss was about. I hoped my money would be well-spent as well.
Their brown and blue, is remarkably similar to Joe’s logo. The similarities, however, end there.
I went to the Think Coffee on Bowery, which has a lovely little seating area out front (that is, if you think sitting along the Bowery is lovely. i don’t). I ordered a cappuccino and sat down at one of the pleasingly rustic circular tables against an old wooden bench. Although I went on a day that was quite warm and sunny, the interior seems like it would be a little slice of heaven on a rainy day.
The coffee was not remarkable, but better than Starbucks and the like. My cappuccino came with lovely latte art in the ideal eight-ounce cup. The drink was quite hot upon the first few sips, so hot that I wasn’t able to truly taste it; however as it cooled down, I could taste the pleasing flavor. It wasn’t a horribly complex cup, but smooth and delicately rich.
Ultimately, Think Coffee feels like a midpoint between Starbucks and Joe, a mini-chain of high quality coffee in New York. The coffee is good, but not outstanding. The atmosphere is a bit more original than Starbucks, but retains the predictability that people find calming. Think Coffee would be excellent for meeting up with friends to chat, study or just grab a bite (they also serve food). The perfect place to go with people who don’t love coffee, but like something unique.
Do you like going to Starbucks?