I can’t believe we haven’t discussed Joe yet. They’re kind of important if you like to think about New York coffee in any capacity. And I obviously do.
I guess part of the reason I haven’t felt compelled to sit down and type out a (hopefully) witty description is because Joe is one of those cafes that simply seems untouchable. They’re Joe after all. One of the first cafes to really usher third wave coffee culture into New York. They’re homegrown, kind of every where and totally awesome. I mean, what’s there to say about that.
Before you click away, I promise there is something to say. There’s lots to say in fact. Perhaps the real reason I didn’t write about Joe before this is because there is too much to say.
I have quite the history with Joe. I’ve taken a coffee class there, I’ve been to a coffee tasting there, I’ve taken their full day intensive coffee class and I’ve tried quite a few of their locations. While I don’t love all of their drinks, I’m always impressed by the consistency with their drinks and the quality of their coffee. It’s impossible to have a bad cup.
Let’s talk about what I think of as my Joe: the thirteenth street location. It’s the first one I went to. In fact, it’s really the first third-wave cafe I went to nearly two years ago.
It’s not perfectly laid out. There are two long communal tables that are a bit uncomfortable and perpetually filled. In the back, there are two small tables and a wooden bench out front if you happen to visit when the weather is nice. The bar takes up most of the room and is smack-dab in the middle. They serve a smattering of pastries, including a pretty decent croissant. There’s also coffee and brewing materials on sale should you want to get your home-brewing mojo on.
I always get either a macchiato or a cold-brew iced coffee when the weather is warm. The macchiato is the stuff my noisette-brain dreams of. Small, but not too-dainty, it’s a cup filled with espresso, milk and a drop of foam. There’s usually a heart beautifully poured on top. It’s potent, but not overbearing. I find the cappuccino a bit milky, but it’s also a great option.
Joe is worth a visit for what it means in New York coffee history. The baristas are knowledgeable, the cafes are always filled with life and the coffee top-notch. Now that Joe is beginning to roast small-batches of their own beans, there’s no telling what heights this already sky-high cafe can reach.
Have you ever been to Joe coffee?