Back when I first started my blog, when I was coffee fan lite (or light given my preference for lattes and cappuccinos), I talked about Gorilla a bit. It was okay, a bit meh, I preferred the au lait to the cappuccino and wasn’t a fan of the taste. While I was at home I decided that I needed to repay this little enclave of Brooklyn coffee-snobbery a visit. I’m not a huge coffee snob, I’ll probably always choose a cortado over an espresso and there will always be a soft spot in my heart for a good-bad coffee, but I know more about the brown brew than I used to. Would I taste anything vastly different this time around?
Unfortunately, that wasn’t completely the case. People rave about Gorilla and the praise is worthy if you’re only considering the location. They do deserve applause for being one of the few independent New York cafes that roasts their own beans, that’s not easy. The shame is that the coffee is simply forgettable. It tastes like everything else tastes and the drinks are only sometimes well-composed.
I went mid-morning on Thursday for a little breakfast and a little studying. Walking in looked like an ad for buying a MacBrook Pro (that being said, I just looked at my computer for the proper capitalization of MacBrook Pro) or at least an ad for working in a cafe. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, was doing work as they sipped on their caffeine.
I ordered a cortado, my mother ordered a cappuccino (while she usually orders decaf, she hates the decaf coffee at Gorilla so much that she eagerly chooses caffeine when we go there) and we decided to split a croissant from Balthazar. We managed to eek out the last available space in the place and sat down with our paper cups. Yeah, that’s right, paper cups. Come on guys, what’s up with that? It was pretty disappointing, though I was impressed that they printed their own paper cups.
The cappuccino filled up the cup and the cortado filled somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of the cup. The cup was an interesting size and the challenge to fill it up no doubt put a strain on our drinks. It wasn’t the small size that is prevalent at most cafes (to give the perfect five oz cappuccino), but it also wasn’t the behemoth that you find at Starbucks. It probably wavered somewhere around eight ounces, still too large for a cappuccino, which was milky and forgettable. At least you could taste the coffee in the cortado, but the milk wasn’t brilliantly frothed (it was, to be fair, text-book perfect on the cappuccino) and the drink just fell flat.
Is Gorilla another case of you have to order the macchiato/espresso to understand the fuss? Perhaps, perhaps. I doubt, however, that I’ll be heading back again to find out. Between the impossibility to find a seat, the lack luster ambiance and the chilly baristas, I’d prefer to head over to nearby De Luxe, Hungry Ghost or Glass Shop to get my cafe fix.
Are there any cafes, or restaurants or clothing stores or anything really, that you don’t understand the fuss about?