There are so many cafes in New York that it would be impossible to try and catalogue them all (though some awesome people like to try). I’m discovering new cafes what seems like nearly every day through blogs, friends and books. It’s exciting and overwhelming. It’s exiciting when you get that perfect cup of coffee from a new cafe. It’s overwhelming when you have to decide which cafe to visit from out of hundreds.
My first weekend back in New York I was looking for a new cafe. I didn’t want to travel far. A walk would be nice, but not necessary. I opened up a book about New York coffee and saw the cafe I would visit straight away. Crop to Cup on Third Avenue. Third avenue? My father said incredulously. Yes, I replied, third avenue. With places like Runner & Stone and Little Neck, it seems like Gowanus might really be changing like they’ve promised for years.
We went down there and walked into the cafe, nearly missing the unassuming storefront on Third avenue. You would never think you would find good coffee there. I’m guessing most people around those parts would be more likely to go to the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street for their caffeine fix. They aren’t, by and large, the kind of people who are interested in fancy pour overs and ethically sourced beans.
I, however, am and I am glad that Crop to Cup has such a surprising location because it means more for me. I’m feeling greedy. It’s hard not to when there is coffee this good.
Their pour over menu is the star of the show here, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about the espresso. Amongst the three of us there were two pour-overs — one from Uganda and a decaf — and a cortado. One pour over had milk accidently added. We tried not to be too disappointed.
Although the pour-overs were perfectly nice, the cortado stole the scene. It was perfectly rich and satisfying with a deep, berry chocolate flavor. The coffee sung and was cut perfectly by the milk. You didn’t feel as if you were drinking straight up espresso — because, let’s face it, you don’t always want to — but you felt as if you were getting your coffee fix for the day. It was the rich coffee that I miss dearly when I’m in Italy. It’s dense and vibrant in a way that mass roasted Italian beans just aren’t.
Although Crop to Cup is in such a strange spot, it’s well worth the visit. Whether you happen to be making a pilgrimmage to IKEA, heading to the Brooklyn Queens expressway or simply around the area for some pie at Four and Twenty Blackbird, Crop to Cup is well-worth a stpop for any coffee affiocionado. I can’t wait to go back.
Do you seek out places to eat in strange locations? Do you have a favorite hidden gem?