Tar Pit Cafe in Williamsburg

A pair of cortados

Resolutions are nice, but I prefer infusing the beginning of the new year with actions that set the tone for the 365 days to come.  You can keep your discounted gym membership, your meticulously organized sock drawer and your color coded budget.  I’ll take a great day with long walks, good books and a perfect coffee.  This past New Year’s day saw the second two, but freezing temperatures and poorly insulated boots put a stop to the first.

If shops are closed on Christmas day because the employees are home with their families, I’m willing to bet that more shops are closed for New Year’s because, unlike Christmas, hangovers don’t discriminate when it comes to religion.  Fortunately, I prefer to spend my New Years warm on a couch. Thus, I got up early, ready to conquer 2014.  A quick walk outside revealed that most of New York was still in bed.  I wanted a good coffee, one that would bode well for the rest of the year’s brews.  Thanks to twitter — how 2014 — I discovered that Tar Pit in Williamsburg was open.  A quick car ride and back-episode of The Menu later, I was standing in front of the shop.

To call the neighborhood Williamsburg is an overstatement.  The street is residential. All the streets within a 5.23 radius are as well.  Yet, Tar Pit doesn’t want for foot traffic.  During the brief time which I spent sitting on a stool gazing out the window, there were no less than four people who stopped by to get coffee.  I imagine the numbers only grow during regular hours.


I ordered a cortado and waited patiently, happily while the barista made it.  She wore pajama pants, not, it seemed, as a declaration of I’d-rather-be-in-bed, but rather as a cheeky gesture to the day.  After a few minutes, my cortado was ready on the counter.

I’ll admit, the drink wasn’t much to look at.  The schiuma sat on top like a cappuccino’s hood.  In the spirit of new beginnings, I took a sip hoping the drink would surprise me.  And surprise me it did.  The cortado was light with a sippable body.  I wanted to keep drinking and drinking.  The coffee itself was delicately sweet with a texture and flavor reminiscent of milk chocolate.  If more places served coffee like this, there would be more people up early on New Year’s day.

Tar pit is a small cafe, but fits a good New York number of seats.  There are two bars with three stools each in the windows that frame the door.  There’s a couch pushed against the far side of the wall, adjacent to the bar.  All this and there’s still space for a good amount of people to line up as they wait for their coffee.

With only 365 days in a year, there’s never enough time to accomplish all you dream about on January 1st.  Whether or not I manage to perfectly realize my resolutions this year, I know I’ve already gotten one great coffee under my belt and that, I think, bodes very well for the year to come.

How do you prefer to begin a new year?

Tar Pit on Urbanspoon


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