From the moment I read about Verve Coffee’s seasonal pop up on Sprudge.com, I was ready to order my cortado. The company is based in California with few cafes serving their beans and none of their own cafes on the east coast. Besides Blue Bottle Coffee and Stumptown, the coffee culture across the USA seems remarkably, disappointingly divided.
The Brooklyn space conveys an aura of Williamsburg hipster, but the wood counter and open layout adds a layer of west coast cool (or what I imagine to be west coast cool). Since Verve shares the space with Rudy’s barber shop and Portland clothing store Poler, there isn’t much space to sit. But the laid back atmosphere makes what space there is feel ample. There are four stools at a counter near the door. In the center of the room, is couch with a couple of adjacent coffee tables stacked high with photography books. And, if you need a neon-colored knit hat, then you can shop and drink.
I walked in and ordered a cortado. The barista was cool, laid back and took her time making the drink. It was Sunday morning and, combined with the rainy atmosphere, the slow pace was nearly welcome. I brought my precariously full glass to a stool by the door and began to drink.
The coffee wasn’t light, but it sipped easier than your average New York cup. Each sip had a nutty, nearly grassy bite that reminded me of raw hazelnuts. The acidity countered the vegetal notes. While I felt the milk nicely balanced out the espresso, I would love to try it straight. Unlike the syrupy shots you sometimes find, I imagine Verve’s would be more even; powerful but easy to drink.
Verve’s pop up is only open to January 31st and is a must-go for any New York coffee enthusiast. It’s the kind of place that could make even the most devoted NYC-lover want to head out west. Or at least hope that more west-coast roasteries open up on the east.
East coast or west coast? Do you have a preference?