I took a short trip to NYC in November 2010 to check out a few of the New York’s Best Cafes (mainly for their espresso drinks). I chose about seven cafes recommended and rated by various magazines and New York Times), and visited Abraco, 3rd Rail Coffee near NYU, Joe’s Art of Espresso, 9th Street Espresso (the Chelsea market location), Cafe Grumpy, Stumptown at the Ace Hotel, and Blue Bottle in Williamsburg. They were all good and great, but my favorite were 9th Street Espresso and Stumptown. It would be better if I visited all of them more than once before writing about them, but then good places should be good at any time for any visitors, eh?!
Stumptown Espresso hails from Portland, but New Yorkers can enjoy it at the lobby of Ace Hotel in Manhattan.I once ordered the “Hair Bender” espresso blend from Stumptown and did not like it at all as it was too acidic. So I hesitated a little bit before I made the trip downtown after getting super caffeinated at the Blue Bottle. But then I thought, “I am in NYC for only 3 days, so why not get super-duper caffeinated?” The baristas at Stumptown Manhattan were quiet, skilled, and professional.
I ordered a double macchiato – my favorite drink, and something that I order to see if the cafe is to my liking or not – with a bottle of sparkling water. Stumptown’s macchiato was really superb – acidity was very present, but in a very pleasant way. Mouth-feel was heavy and balanced, and there was a bit of sweetness. My memo states “Very nice! Mellower and better than what I remember. More edgy and has some smokiness. Also a bit of strange woodiness..maybe jasmine?”
Excited by the macchiato, I ordered a double small cappuccino. This was also good, but I liked the macchiato better.
Overall, it felt like a great cafe with really cool and unpretentious atmosphere and well skilled baristas doing a good job. I would love to go to their original location on the division street. Maybe next year.
Tags: Ace Hotel New York, Ace NYC, Best Cafes America, New York Cafes, Portland, Stumptown, Stumptown Coffee