Worth Walking: Southside Coffee

Sometimes twenty blocks feels like more than twenty blocks.  Twenty blocks in the snow is unbearable.  Twenty blocks in the heat are too.  Yet, there are sometimes, some things really, that make a long walk worth it.  Coffee is one of those thing that make a long journey worth the pain.

Well, most of the time.

Luckily, last Saturday when the mercury had climbed to a precarious near-ninety, I undertook a journey for coffee that was well worthy of the trek.  There aren’t that many good coffee places in Brooklyn and even fewer great ones.  Therefore, when a place that people rave about crosses my path, I want to try.  I’m running to be the first in line to drink what I hope will be a perfectly calibrated cappuccino.  Sometimes I’m lucky and get exactly that and other times, these cafes fall flat.  What was all the hype about?

My parents used to drive to Southside coffee before I was excited about drinking cappuccini.  Before I would convince my dad that, yes, a drive to Williamsburg to try a new coffee place really was a worthy Saturday excursion.  I vaguely remembered the place and had been reading more and more about it since I arrived back in NYC.  I knew the journey was imminent.

So, I set off.  Walking in the heat, hoping that my sweat would be annihilated with a gorgeous cappuccino set before me.  And possibly some air conditioning in the cafe.

Well, the cafe itself was pretty hot.  Unfortunately.  They didn’t have any airconditioning and the windows, brown-tinted, were sealed shut giving the place a lovely sweaty-greenhouse atmosphere.  I was nervous about the coffee as the humid air would no doubt impact the grind and the beans.  I waited for my cappuccino and hoped for the best.

Besides the temperature, the layout of the cafe left quite a bit to be desired.  There were three small tables set up on the left side of the cafe in an artful mess that looked more messy than artful.  There were also some (brown) armchairs, two tables set up facing the window and a bar with four stools, also facing the window.  The only thing to mitigate the heat was a single fan, which, when you stood directly under it, was surprisingly pleasant.

Luckily, my cappuccino was much nicer than the cafe itself.  There was just enough schiuma that I could take a couple spoonfulls, but not so much that I felt cheated out of a coffee.   It was rich, both in texture and coffee flavor.  The espresso itself was also worth the walk.  Rich and chocolately in a soft way, it was a great cappuccino.  While I would generally prefer something lighter on a hot day, this cappuccino was an excellent specimen.  I sipped the warm beverage as I walked.  It hit a good balance between milk and coffee, if perhaps leaning a bit to the milk side.

Was it worth the walk?  For the coffee yes.  For the space no.  But, let’s be honest, we’re going for the coffee, aren’t we.

What is your favorite coffee, or other, beverage to drink on a hot day?

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