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8 Hottest Coffee Shops in NYC

By Kelly Dobkin
February 25, 2014

New York City is the East Coast epicenter of the coffee explosion of the last several years, as evidenced by the recent invasion of major non-NYC brands like Stumptown, Intelligensia, Blue Bottle, Counter Culture - all of which have set up shop in the Big Apple. But even when the local coffee scene seems totally saturated, more cafes keep opening up. Today, we're highlighting eight of the most unique, cutting-edge and dynamic java joints in town, from a back-of-a-barbershop pop-up roaster/brewer in Brooklyn to a tiny Midtown shop that spotlights Australian coffee culture. Read on for our list of the hottest coffee shops in town.

  • Budin

    Why it's hot: This Scandinavian coffee-bar-meets-lifestyle-shop in Greenpoint recently opened from Elliot Rayman (Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Variety Coffee vet), Crystal Pei and Rut Hermannsdóttir. Its tagline: "Coffee Bar. Design Goods. Nordic." The coffee-retail concept also sells clothes, scarves and other wares while baristas pump out Scandinavian-inspired brews including a $10 drink called the Lakkris Latte. A back patio and upcoming beer and wine license will make it a destination for boozier drinks during the summer months as well.

    The gear:  Budin features a Modbar system with flamed birch handles (via Sprudge). For filter coffee they have a Fetco and manual brew-bar tools for Aeropress and Hario V60 single-brew coffees.

    The Details: 114 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn; 347-844-9639

  • Blue Bottle Cobble Hill

    Why it's hot: This recently opened outpost of the SF transplant is the second location to open in Brooklyn and the first location to sell the James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) custom espresso blend, called House of Good. The tiny space specializes in drip coffees, New Orleans-style and cold-brew iced drinks, plus a selection brewing gear and pastries are also on offer.

    The gear: La Marzocco espresso machine, Bonmac pour-over bar

    The details: 85 Dean St., Brooklyn; no phone yet

  • Box Kite Cafe

    Why it's hot: This cutting-edge East Village coffeehouse opened in December in a sliver of a St. Mark's space, and features a rotating selection of roasters including standbys like Coffee Collective, Ritual and Madcap, made with some impressive equipment. Also expect beer and wine, Amari and low-alcohol cocktails in the minimalist space featuring a wood bar. 

    The gear: Synesso Hydra with custom wood fixtures, Kalita Wave and Fetco.

    The details: 115 St. Mark's Pl.; 212-574-8201

  • Parlor Coffee

    Why it's hot: A pop-up coffee shop in a Williamsburg barber shop? This has cachet written all over it. What began as a tiny espresso bar in the back of the shop from Stumptown and Blue Bottle alum Dillon Edwards now roasts and sells its own beans, with plans to opening a permanent outpost in Clinton Hill. Right now their current roast is a Colombia Pedregal San Jose. 

    The gear: Shots are pulled via Speedster espresso machine.

    The details: Persons of Interest Barber Shop, 84 Havemeyer St., Brooklyn; 718-218-9100

  • Hi-Collar

    Why it's hot: NYC restaurateur Bon Yagi (Otafuku, Rai Rai Ken, Curry-Ya) has brought the slow, kissaten-style, of Japanese coffee-shop brewing to NYC's bustling streets. By day, Hi-Collar is a Western-inspired Japanese cafe serving Porto Rico Importing Co. coffee, and by night, the space transforms into a sake bar of sorts.

    The gear: Hario V60 siphon, Aeropress

    The details: 214 E. 10th St.; 212-777-7018

  • Kings Coffee

    Why it's hot: Set in a repurposed garage, this shop opened quietly last summer in the Columbia Street Waterfront District by two local brothers who apprenticed under a master Italian roaster in Bensonhurst nicknamed "Mister Joe," before taking over his roasting business. The shop serves only its housemade Mister Joe's espresso coffee, though the real reason to go is its cold-drip iced java and shakeratos made via the Breukelen Dutch slow-drip cold-brewing method, which utilizes the first CoffeeGa Ridge 3.2, a Korean-made piece of gear, in the country. 

    The gear: CoffeeGa Ridge 3.2

    The details: 37 Carroll St., Brooklyn; 718-232-7736

  • Little Collins

    Why it's hot: This Melbourne-inspired Midtown coffee shop makes a damn fine cup of coffee without overwhelming you with tricked-out machinery. In fact, the under-counter brewing system makes their Counter Culture brews on the sly. Bonus: there's a serious food menu here featuring items like a smoked brisket sandwich and a turkey confit sandwich.

    The gear: Under-counter Modbar brewers (via Sprudge) feature pour-over, steam and espresso-making options, which save space in the spot's limited real estate. 

    The details: 667 Lexington Ave.; 212-308-1969

  • Pushcart Coffee

    Why it's hot: Since opening three years ago as a cart, Pushcart has now expanded to three brick-and-mortar locations (although the original East Broadway location just closed), with its most recent in Chelsea. Pushcart strives to be the neighborhood coffee bar for everyone - from the uberparticular coffee nerd to the casual drinker, featuring an array of Stumptown coffees among other curated guest roasters.  

    The gear: The Slow Bar in the back of the Chelsea location is a go-to for coffee nerds who like to have a front-row seat of the action. Personal barista service will make your brew via Chemex, Klever Dripper, French press, V60, Kalita Wave or Aeropress (via Sprudge).

    The details: Gramercy: 362 Second Ave., 646-476-8416; Chelsea: 401 W. 25th St., 646-649-3079

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