Before New York, there was instant coffee and one neighborhood Starbucks--at least in my story. In this same story, coffee was a necessity, not an experience.
But then, on a sunny afternoon in 2011, New York happened. Well, New York coffee culture, at least. For me, coffee culture is a lifestyle. It’s the social gatherings that happen on cold afternoons in warm coffee houses. It’s the early morning routines, centered around the New York Times and a steaming latte. It’s the thing that happens late into the night, when I find myself ticking away hours writing in my notebook.
To fully understand New York City coffee culture, you have to understand the creatives who call this city home. They’re go-getters, witty, always looking for inspiration in the most ordinary of places.
They sip “regular” (black) coffee, and won’t discriminate against food cart blends (if you can call it a blend). They’re tough--New Yorkers have to be--and they make their homes in coffee shops from Bushwick to Gramercy. This city is fast paced--brutal even--but coffee houses from east to west provide a warmth most can’t find in their 600 square foot apartments.
But more so than environment, coffee culture is the experience that happens when you’re sipping from that ceramic mug. It’s the breakthrough article that you’ve finally completed from the chair of your favorite cafe. It’s the stories you tell with your best friend while catching up after a long night. In a sense, New York City coffee culture is just as unique as New York itself.