Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee

Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee
10 Downing Street
New York, NY 10014

 

Jack's Stir Brew

Jack’s Stir Brew

“Organic Fairtrade Shadegrown Coffee,” a perfect example of exactly how coffee should be. Jack’s Stir Brew is in one word (which is completely made up but…) BREWTASTIC! The espresso was undeniably creamy and balanced perfectly with local Hudson Valley Fresh Milk! There’s something so refreshing and exciting when all the ingredients being used in your meals and drinks are all right from your own backyard. Because guess what? It tastes 100% better than all those genetically enhanced ingredients you’d get at let’s say, your local Starbucks.

OH YES, yes I did just go out on a limb and state that Jack’s Stir Brew is in fact better than Starbucks. Now, for the most part many mom and pop enthusiasts who support the  local route will say, “Duh of course it’s better.” But, you have to understand Starbucks has  created what mom and pop cafe’s could only dream of; mass production with emphasis on customer loyalty. Unfortunately, what most mom and pop cafes lack is the number one golden rule, The Customer is ALWAYS Right. This rule is so often overlooked that the customer loyalty is not sustained.

Walking Towards Jack's!

Walking Towards Jack’s!

Jack’s is a true gem and right out it scores a  rating from TheCoffeeMan™ Pure euphoria when the espresso hits your lips. Have you ever been so caffeinated your brain just can’t handle it but it feels fantastic? That’s exactly how it is when drinking Jack’s A+++ grade espresso. My walk over after work this past Friday was nothing short of a perfect summer evening in New York City. The temperature was just right and you could smell the climax of summer as we slowly descend into my favorite time of the year, Fall. I approached the 10 Downing Street location (there’s 5 Jack’s across the city) and I was welcomed generously into the shop.

Local Favorites Menu

Local Favorites Menu

Immediately upon entering I smiled as big as ever. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, the baristas were genuinely excited to serve, and although there was small amounts of seating Jack’s felt huge. I ordered a local favorite, the Teddy Boy. The espresso was pulled just right, the amount of ice was enough to add a refreshing chill to the drink, and it was balanced well with the perfect amount of cream. I can see why it was such a local favorite. I most certainly will be back to continue to pick apart the local favorites menu, but to also enjoy some of the award winning coffee! It was a pleasure enjoying Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee. Overall ! It’s a fantastic spot to enjoy a local vibe, great coffee & espresso, and to have a good conversation. Remember to tell em’ the Coffee Drinker’s Blog sent ya!

Peace & Love,

TheCoffeeMan™

Kaffe 1668

Kaffe 1668

401 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013

People need to know good things, and this is a good thing. It’s perfect really.  I always boast about Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen in Winter Park (it’ll always be one of my favorites) but this little gem is like a match made in heaven. The coffee gods called upon the creator and birthed Kaffe 1668.

Behind the Bar

Behind the Bar

I’ve walked in before to grab lunch (which is really tasty, and they also give you a free complimentary iced tea with every meal you order). I decided to go back the other day and order myself a latte, and I was not expecting their coffee to be anywhere near as good as what their sign said outside “we serve good coffee.” I mean I understand the marketing principal behind it, but you have to be a little skeptical right?

Tea Lights, Real Burning Ones!

Tea Lights, Real Burning Ones!

You walk in and the place is dimly lite, and there are actual burning tea candles on every table. As you walk towards the back you’re greeted by a lovely barista (picture you’re most stereotypical barista but not an asshole) and that’s who’ve got at Kaffe 1668. They use Square by the way, which is totally perfect for small coffee shops and businesses. I was so pleased about the atmosphere of Kaffe 1668. Its roaring in noise of coffee being dripped, people talking and laughing, espresso being pulled, and the smiles of people feeling satisfied.

Mocha Latte

Mocha Latte

I ordered a mocha latte which was so decadent in rich frothy foam, smooth espresso, and that dark chocolaty finish that’s supposed to be there after every sip of a mocha drink. It was perfect in every sip I took. I also ordered a regular latte to compare between the two. They were both a match made in heaven.

Overall I am giving Kaffe 1668 a , your only complaint (that I am sure most of you would agree upon) is its a little pricey. But then again this is coming from a guy who drinks Starbucks 24/7 so a little pricey really does mean it’s a little pricey. Enjoy it and make sure you tell them that TheCoffeeMan™ of CoffeeDrinkersBlog sent ya.

 

 

Crave Espresso Bar

Crave Espresso Bar

Crave Espresso Bar

Crave Espresso Bar

386 Canal St
(between Broadway & Thompson St)
New York, NY 10013
Neighborhood: TriBeCa

By far the best latte I have had so far while being in and out of New York for the last few weeks. The greatest thing about this place, not only it being a great spot to enjoy a latte, but it’s right near my office. I walked in around 11AM and it was dead, so by first glance I wasn’t hopeful. But Crave has charm, it has soul, and it has that feel of walking into an espresso bar. (I am still on the lookout for an actual espresso bar, you know standing room ONLY!) <—-So if someone could point me in that direction that would be awesome. The staff was eh…my barista could have smiled a bit more, or could have at least had a decent conversation with me.

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Vanilla Latte

I ordered my classic vanilla latte and I got a blueberry muffin toasted (which seemed to have taken a lot longer now that I think about it). I don’t know if it was the toaster that wasn’t toasting, or if their fridge where they kept the muffin on display was 30 below. Nonetheless my muffin was enjoyable, it just had an awful cold center. Not too many people came in and out of this place, that could have been due to the fact that it was 11AM and everyone had gotten their morning cup of joe. I just thought there would have been a bit more activity. With further research this place is actually really new.

photo copy

Upstairs Seating

The espresso was pulled just right. It was creamy, strong, and it balanced well with the thickness of the foam. I could have liked a better design, or a design for that matter on my latte. I’d say skip the food and try as many drinks as you can. The lady sitting behind me ordered an iced tea and she was raving about it, that, and the how cute the place was. It’s a fun place to sit quickly have your cup of coffee, take a couple of Instagram photos, and be on your way. I will be back to take a latte on the go, as for siting down and enjoying another latte, highly unlikely.

CFCF Roastery & Cafe

CFCF Roastery & Cafe:

 

There are only two words that can describe this place accurately, coffee depression. What is coffee depression you may ask? Well, let’s say you’re on your fifth cup of Maxwell House (I’m sorry if you drink that you’re really missing out), and you’re just not getting that high; that caffeine high that drives you through the rest of the day. It’s like your whole day you spend crashing and burning into a fiery pit of anger, sadness, and a suicidal outlook on life. Yes, that is a little dramatic, but come on you can’t say you don’t want to kill people if you don’t get your well-balanced cup of coffee in the morning.

Instagram: benjamingreger

Instagram: benjamingreger

Besides the obvious, which is the nice coffee decor, brick accent walls, iPads (that don’t use square…stupid), fun uptight-put-together pastries, nice comfy seating, okay light fixtures, nice smell of freshly brewed joe, cute display; this place is just looming of the case of Monday’s, hardcore. 

My latte tasted of burnt caramel, and overly frothed milk. I thought the barista was pretty nice, but the two who are behind the counter sure are…well, boring. However at least he seems somewhat excited about what he does on a daily basis. Meaning he’s willing to explain to the average joe like myself how they brew their coffee.

First impressions are keen in my eye, and when it comes to a small coffee shop like this there are a few things I am expecting. 1) Latte art. 2) A feel good staff. Meaning they love what they do and love how they do it. 3) WiFi. I mean this seems like a no-brainer for a coffee shop, but believe it or not there was no WiFi at CFCF.  4) Priced competitively, not geographically. This is important, hugely important. I understand that this is Greenwich CT, there’s millionaires down every street, however; great coffee doesn’t need to be priced high for the area in which your in, Barnies Coffee Kitchen in Winter Park is a great example of this.  This place is overly priced both inside and out. You have to pay for parking (which only takes quarters), and then the $4.85 latte I got in what looks to be like a medium cup rather than a large, it’s a bit frustrating. I don’t mind paying slightly higher, but make it worth it.

Overall, after it’s all said and done, I’d come back for another cup of coffee. I’d give it a second chance for CFCF to take a Zoloft and be happier! : fun atmosphere (decor wise), bitter burnt espresso, overly frothed milk, boring staff, no WiFi, but nice seating.

Quokka Coffee

Quokka Coffee

Hello my fellow coffee lovers! I’m coming out on this one swinging. First no coffee shop should ever charge you extra for whipped cream. That should be a given. Now I understand from what I can see while I’m here that this is a fairly new establishment (not worth my 45 minute drive out here). However I can see where people can become attached to this charming spot, Quokka Coffee. It is indeed charming everything is pretty much brand new.

3 flat screen Samsung TV’s, a future beer and wine list, surf board tables for the window seating, and a comfy leather couch. What brought me all the way out here? The Flat-White. It’s the Aussie favorite and I had to give it a go especially after a recent article that I wrote for The Daily City. What I have a hard time dealing with is on Quokka Coffee’s website are misrepresented photos of what their coffee actually looks like. You can see my Flat-White photo, there’s no latte art. I get it maybe it’s me being a bit of a *insert curse word here* but come on. Every Flat-White photo on the internet has some sort of latte art on it.

Flat-White

Let me get into the meat of it, the coffee was enjoyable regardless of the un-velvetiness of the foam, the atmosphere is loud due to the street being right on top of you as you enjoy your coffee. However the people seem some what friendly…to the locals who come in here. If I compare this to B3’s atmosphere (them being a bike specific coffee shop) Side note: Floridians and their bikes can be…eh…well you know snotty.

Anyways B3’s atmosphere is so welcoming and inviting, they don’t care if you ride a bike or not, they simply love you! I am pretty disappointed in this place, so I’m not going to really recommend it to anyone. I think what I can’t get over is the payment for extras that I think should just be a given in my opinion…whipped cream…really?

 

 stars in my book, not worth the 45 minute drive, coffee was good, but it could have been better, still too new of a place for me.

 

Peace & Love,

Benjamin

Downtown Credo

Caramel Latte

Hello everyone. If you have been following my Instagram closely lately, or FB, or even just my regular twitter (speaking on that I am probably going to delete the @AndCoffeeBlog account so make sure to follow my @BenjaminGreger one). Many of you should all notice the wonderful creations Downtown Credo has been making me every morning as I work on writing for another blog, TheDailyCity. It’s perfect to the touch, not to hot, not cold at all, and perfectly enjoyable on any given day. The last few days here in the Sunshine state have been gloomy, which is reminding me a lot of the New England weather which I enjoy. Let’s talk atmosphere.

I have been arriving for the last week at Downtown Credo at around 9AM, and at first it’s slow there aren’t a lot of people walking in and out, but about 45minutes to and hour later the place is usually jumping. The environment is friendly and open, there’s awesome seating throughout, and the barista’s give you a warm inviting feeling. Now usually I am big on watching my coffee being made, it’s part of the experience I sort have come to love, however here at Downtown Credo I order and walk to my seat.

Caramel Mocha Macchiato

This is a bit unusual for me, but I find that every time my drink comes to me, it’s perfect, every time. I have yet to order something that I just don’t find enjoyable. I think the best part about Downtown Credo is their payment method. Being a student it’s a bit hard trying to continuously go out and try all of these different coffee shops, let alone keep up with my Starbucks addiction; Downtown Credo allows you to pay what you can. How cool is that? Supposedly more and more smaller “mom and pop” coffee shops are beginning to do this which I think is a great alternative.

Yes there are suggested prices but being a student, or someone who just doesn’t have a lot of money, or is just one of those starving artists, Downtown Credo is the place to go. Trust me the coffee, the lattes, the small treats, the environment, the staff, and everyone at Downtown Credo will welcome you with a great big smile. I give Downtown Credo a  stars, it’s the perfect getaway and alternative to your normal coffee shop you go to. So let Downtown Credo know the CoffeeDrinkersBlog sent ya!

 

Peace & Love,

Benjamin

Bikes Beans & Bordeaux

Great Atmosphere

Bikes Beans & Bordeaux, or to everyone who lives around here, B3 Cafe; is a great little neighborhood cafe where it’s okay to “B yourself at B3.” It smells of pressed panini’s and coffee, with warm deep dark red walls and painted artwork accenting off them. Two nice sized leather couches accompany the coffee drinker, along with a selection of seating throughout the small cafe. Three bars aline near the cashier allowing the on the go coffee drinker to sip their coffee quickly while reading the paper. It’s everything a little neighborhood  cafe should be, and this is exactly what I have been looking for in a small coffee shop.

For the wine drinker, they have a great selection of wines, as well as beer. From what their website reads, they update their beer and wine list every month. It’s great to always have that new fresh selection of different things, and it keeps the cafe environment new and exciting. Aside from the indoor seating, there is some outdoor seating but it’s very limited to the normal cafe. Then again this is a smaller “neighborhood” cafe. What’s really different here especially than Stardust (which is right around the corner from B3) is this place is packed! Within the first few minutes of me being here, more and more people just came right on in. It’s a great hot spot for lunch, and an ice coffee especially being out here in the Sunshine State!

The Latte

Now down to the business of things! The latte. I should really just be a latte reviewer, but it still falls into the coffee realm of things. It’s brilliant. I can’t be anymore precious on just how great and delicious this latte is. It’s been brewed perfectly, along with a even subtle foam on top. This is the perfect latte for a great warm afternoon. It does nothing but put a huge smile on your face from ear to ear! This isn’t a spot for open mics, or events like that, but they do have an awesome lunch, and a great latte!

Overal this is a fantastic spot for you to come sit down, have an enjoyable lunch, and a great cup of coffee. The atmosphere is friendly and pleasant. I give B3 Cafe a 5 out 5 stars. If you are in the Orlando area and need a new spot to kick it, it’s here at Bikes Beans & Bordeaux!

Stardust Video and Coffee

Stardust Video and Coffee

I think I am having a hard time describing this place, simply because it’s just one of those coffee houses you MUST come in and see for yourself. Stardust Video and Coffee, was mentioned to me by some guest speakers who came and visited my class the other day, and I’m all for a new place to go and have a good cup of coffee. Especially a latte! I walked in, and of course being me. I’ll be honest it’s not that lively of a place during the day, but at night it’s a chill spot to be.

There’s a stage here where they host some great live performances and open mics. I also noticed when walking in was the amount of posters plastered on the door, suggesting that this place certainly supports the Greater Orlando area artists. The back walls are covered in movies hence the name Stardust Video andCoffee, there’s some shelves for some books that are all filled up as well. The seating holds a lot of coffee loving drinkers, and others as well. I ordered my latte, and the barista made it

My Latte

very fast. She recommend that I try the house coffee, but unfortunately for me I just wasn’t in the mood for that. When I got to my seat and took the first sip of my latte, the foam was thick and enjoyable. It was caught all in my beard and I chuckled a bit because the foam was just that good.

I was pleasantly surprised at just how good the latte really was. My number one thing that I am fearful of when coming to a new coffee house is the temperature, taste, and overall experience (including atmosphere) of the coffee house. So my latte’s temperature was dead on enjoyable, the taste was rich and bold something I truly enjoy coming from my latte! Stardust Video and Coffee has a space that transforms into an artistic hang out for many. Overall I would give Stardust Video and Coffee a 4 out 5 stars! Good people, good coffee, good times.

Peace & Love,

Benjamin

P.S. for booking at Stardust email: stardustbooking@gmail.com

The Sleeping Moon Cafe

The Sleeping Moon Cafe

Here’s a little cafe set on the outskirts of Winter Park, FL close to the Full Sail University side. When walking into The Sleeping Moon Cafe I was taken back by there not being so many people inside. I was a little let down, since I had liked their Facebook page and saw that Wednesday nights are usually game nights; I was expecting there to be a lot of people. Well it wasn’t going to stop me from trying the coffee, and having a good time with a few of my friends. I ordered an Iced Caramel Macchiato with whip cream on top. I waited normally as I would at any Starbucks by the bar for my drink to be presented to me. The guy behind the bar so don’t worry I’ll bring it out to you. So I took my seat to enjoy a nice round of chess, which by the way I am still pretty good at. My drink was brought to me and it was just a fantastic Iced Caramel Macchiato. It had the perfect amount of caramel and the espresso was just rich a delicious.

Iced Caramel Macchiato

As the night progressed on more and more people started to show up and take part in game night, and the atmosphere of the cafe began to bustle making it feel more and more like a fun place to spend a weekday evening at. When I spoke to one of the workers they informed that they have open mic events on a regular basis and try to advertise as much as they can through their Facebook page. There are usually more performance based open mics, but they do have the occasional poetry readings, which I am looking forward to attending one night.

Overal my experience at The Sleeping Moon Cafe was well worth the unexpected travel out. I am still in search for that great open mic experience, and I think I might find it one night at The Sleeping Moon. The coffee was great and smooth. I noticed many people ordering sandwiches indicating to me they have some pretty good food worth eating. I would give The Sleeping Moon Cafe a 4.5 out 5 Stars.

Chess

There’s a piece of me that just wishes they could stay open a little later than 10PM, especially since many people didn’t start coming out until around 9PM.

 

Peace & Love,

Benjamin

P.S. To book a performance slot at the sleeping moon email:
booking@sleepingmooncafe.com

Axum Coffee

AxumCoffee

Here at Axum Coffee it is a completely different vibe. It’s set in a small town of Orlando called Winter Garden. It’s one of those hole in the wall coffee shops. From the outside I merely thought that I wasn’t going to be able to have seat. But there is plenty of room inside and out, not like most Starbucks where things just get so crowded and you can’t ever find a seat. When you open the door underneath the name it reads: “Serving the world one cup at a time.” Here’s a small snippet of what they are about and how the name came together: “So, we decided to give all the profit away in hopes of changing the world…one cup of coffee at a time.The name was born out of this dream.  Axum is a city in Ethiopia.  In Axum there are 45,000 people…” (Click here to read the full story) Axum Coffee’s dedication in helping people is something that means a lot to me, I used to be heavily involved with the efforts in presenting information to schools about the genocide in Darfur.

Creme Brulee Latte

Now down to the business of why I was brought out here. The latte. That’s right folks I didn’t get a cup of coffee, at least not yet, but instead I got a latte. In fact it’s a Creme Brulee latte. The caramel that just smells off this latte is amazing with a beautiful thick foam resting on top with sugar in the raw. It’s perfect. The temperature of the latte was slightly hot at first, but it quickly cooled for my tasting pleasure. Aside from my great latte I ordered a coffee cake because I was slightly hungry. When it was brought out to me, they had warmed it just right and it was a delight to eat.

Axum Coffee has an overall great atmosphere, I know it’s only a Tuesday afternoon, but I am sure on a weekend where the town is a bit more busier this place is jumping. Thank you Axum Coffee for bringing me out here to enjoy my first great latte of Orlando! I will be back, tasting your great creations. I give you 5 out of 5 stars, and will be recommending your shop!

Peace & Love,

Benjamin