Picking out the best coffee shop is a highly subjective pursuit. You may like your cafe mocha bold with more java than sweet chocolate poking through. Preferences range from a light roast to a bold Sumatran espresso. But beneath that, the ingredients and barista determine the true flavor. As for me, I don’t care so much about the ambiance of a coffee house. Usually time is of the essence giving me little time to lounge using free Wi-Fi or savoring extras like scones or muffins anyway. I just need a nuanced lively brew pronto! That’s where Abraco comes in.
About the size of a Starbucks bathroom, this tiny East Village storefront coffee bar doesn’t even have a table or chairs. But it does have barista Jamie McCormick who gained a reputation at San Francisco’s micro-roaster Blue Bottle Coffee Company. At Abraco, McCormick pours fresh roasted North Carolina Counter Culture beans into his La Marzocco espresso machine, grinds them to order and individually brews drinks straight into your mug. Topped with fluffy foam inscribed with ornate latte art, espresso drinks have none of the bitterness you may have come to expect.
Even though a paper cup doesn’t do it justice, you can skip the demitasse and head right out unless of course you’re tempted by the fresh baked treats on sale like rich frittatas, tarts stuffed with roasted pears, and a quince reduction boiled down into a taffylike candy. Here’s a little confession: I do make time for the persimmon tortas, and lavender scented shortbread. I suggest you do likewise!
photo courtesy of K Robison on Flickr