I love coffee. This isn’t a surprise.
I love coffee and I love trying new kinds of coffee, but I’m not going to go for the most original, serious drinks the majority of the time. I’ll never choose a single-origin pour over instead of a brilliant cappuccino, but sometimes I get such a kick out of tasting the differences. The flavors, the textures, the smell, everything about coffee changes from cup to cup and that’s part of what makes it so exciting. That’s also part of what makes trying different cafes so entertaining.
Happy Bones is the first new cafe I tried after coming home for the holidays. It’s right by my stomping grounds (read: yoga studio, convenient subway and J Crew) and is inside the hippest clothing store. Usually cafes inside clothing stores don’t have much seating space. Happy Bones is the notable, glorious, exception. The space is large and airy with plenty of well-laid out seating. It’s tucked in the back of a store on Bond Street and, if it wasn’t for the sandwich board advertising coffee out front, would be totally missable.
The space looks like something you might find in London. In fact, the entire cafe is the closest thing to an Australian-owned London-based cafe that we have in New York. This is both good — this drinks are novel in the New York coffee universe — and dull — you’ve been to this cafe and seen what it looks like. It’s achingly hip, as if you couldn’t tell from the fact that you have to walk by rows of vintage handbags, sunglasses and dresses in order to reach the till. That being said, they do lay out a variety of independent fashion magazines that are normally too expensive for us mortals to buy. You may have to deal with the withering glances of shop girls and guys, but at least you’ll have something to read (I read an interview with Grace Coddington).
I looked at the menu overwhelmed by the options. What’s a picolo? Did they want to say piccolo? Could that be a ristretto? (I am not a grammar nazi in English. In Italian, however, I will point out your mistakes at the speed of light. Don’t go to an Italian restaurant with me. You’ve been warned) What’s the difference between a long macchiato and a short macchiato? A long macchiato is, in Italian, un caffè lungo macchiato. It’s an americano topped with a layer of foam. A short macchiato it simply espresso topped with schiuma. I got a long macchiato, eager to try this new-to-me drink. The barista who explained the difference to me was extraordinarily patient given the fact that I’m guessing she gets asked these questions a billion times a day.
It did not disappoint. The lungo was well-balanced and flavorful, with a the perfect level of dilution from the water. The milk really was only a little dollop on top and the perfect amount to make the coffee a bit richer without taking away much intensity from the coffee. It was great, I loved it. I would not, however, order it every time.
I’m a creature of habit and I love what I know. I’m going to want a milky cappuccino some days. I’m going to always go back to sitting with a cup of coffee for a long time reading a book or working. That doesn’t mean trying new things isn’t great. It’s just not always the most satisfying option. I’ll be back to Happy Bones; even if it means trying a cappuccino the next time I sit down to the huge tables and brilliant magazines.
Do you like trying new coffee drinks? What’s the strangest/coolest/best new drink you’ve ever tried?
Here’s Project Latte’s information page if you’re interested in heading over!