I’m Back! The Coffee Chronicles: Bean & Bean

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Hi Everyone!

I know, I know, I’ve been totally MIA for a while, (blame my professors). But the good news is that I’m back with another review of a coffee shop to add to the list, and just in time for National Coffee Day! Which unfortunately, I was not able to celebrate due to an extremely painful migraine which made me a slave to my futon all.day.long.

ANYWAY…

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure of writing one of my research papers (did you know that Panama has the lowest sales tax of any Latin American country?! I didn’t! But you probably don’t care anyway!) at Bean & Bean, which is located in Chelsea near Penn Station. The store has an industrial vibe with many floor to ceiling windows to let in the natural light, which makes it a perfect place for studying! Much of the decor was wooden or made of metal, with a communal seating style including long tables with stools (or in some cases SWIVEL CHAIRSSS WOOOOOOOOO….bear with me…the two doses of Excedrin migraine plus the 5 hour nap have me quite wired.) There are also high tables for those who wish to stand, tables for two, comfy chairs, and some good music as well, featuring artists such as Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, and Snow Patrol.

So many choices!

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via Yelp
via Yelp

Love all the options!

So many choices!

Overall, Bean & Bean has a great selection of drinks from lattes, to cappuccinos, to matcha drinks as well, and the latte art is on point! I ordered an almond milk latte to stay, which came in a HUGE mug and was AMAZING. The almond milk didn’t water down the espresso at all, and if I didn’t know any better, I probably would have thought it was a skim latte instead. It was also the perfect temperature and not too bitter or too mild. In addition to my coffee, I also got a chia pudding which had nuts and fresh and dried fruit on top. Bean & Bean also sells pre-made sandwiches and oatmeal, juices, and baked goods as well. I will definitely be returning to Bean & Bean in the future and recommend it to any coffee lover or a person who just wants a cool atmosphere to get some work done.IMG_5287IMG_5289

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Bean & Bean:

Address:
320 8th Avenue (between 25th and 26th)
New York, NY 10001

Takes credit cards: Yes

Noise Level: Medium

Atmosphere: 5/5

Recommend to a friend: Yes

The Coffee Chronicles: Blue Bottle Coffee

IMG_5096 (1)Good afternoon!

This morning when I woke up, I was in the mood for a leisurely workout and wanted a break from my normal gym routine. With that in mind, I decided to walk The High Line from start to finish. For those of you who haven’t been, The High Line is an above street-level park and walkway in New York City that was built on old railroad tracks. The High Line truly has something for everyone, from beautiful views of the water, benches to sit and read, beautiful tree-shaded pathways, and you guessed it: a coffee stand, which is run by Blue Bottle Coffee!

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Being that I was working up a sweat, I decided to get an iced coffee with almond milk, which they offer in only one size (I would say it’s a medium). I was so happy to see that almond milk is offered as a non-dairy option, despite the fact that it costs extra. On that note, the almond milk doesn’t water down the coffee, which still had a very strong taste after the milk was added. The barista asked me if I wanted any sweetener added, but I decided to go without in hopes that I could add my own at the bar. Unfortunately for me, they only had white sugar on the bar, so I decided to pass and have an unsweetened coffee (hey it’s healthier anyway). Also to note, Blue Bottle sells baked goods as well and there is a seating area with plenty of tables and chairs. At $5.36, I’m not sure that I loved my coffee enough to get it again, but I would definitely try their other options on my next visit to The High Line!

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Blue Bottle Coffee:

Address: The High Line
10th Ave and West 16th Street
New York, NY 10014

Takes credit cards: Yes

Noise Level: It depends on how many people are at the High Line, also if there is construction in the area.

Atmosphere: 5/5 (The High Line is GORGEOUS.)

Recommend to a friend: Yes

Instagram: @bluebottle

The Coffee Chronicles: Birch Coffee

IMG_5066Happy Hump Day Everyone!

If you know me or even read my About page, you know that I have a serious love affair with coffee and with NYC! I thought that it would be a great idea to combine these two things and do a coffee crawl around the city to try out various coffee shops and give myself a break from my beloved Starbucks. Enter “The Coffee Chronicles”.

As the first stop on my tour, I decided to visit Birch Coffee on this extremely hot September afternoon. From the outside, Birch has a super cool industrial yet rustic vibe, and it seems as though the people working there enjoy a quirky sense of humor and a good old quote.

Upon walking into BircIMG_5068h, my first reaction was that the shop was small, which is to be expected when rent in NYC is so darn high! True to its exterior appearance, Birch’s interior combines a mixture of industrial metal fixtures, exposed brick walls, and a funky blend of music including alternative rock tracks (read Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes) and a rustic homey-ness of wood plank tables.

Birch also has a small library area in the corner of the shop, away from the hustle and bustle of the coffee bar. If you need a quiet space for intense study sessions or inner reflection, I would recommend taking your coffee to go, but other than that, definitely take a while to appreciate the store, pick up a book from the bookshelves, or even take a stab at what Birch has dubbed “The Ignition Initiative,” which is definitely not for the faint of heart. Grab a topic card, place it in front of you, and maybe you will be lucky enough to meet your future spouse, boss, or BFF for life (or maybe a creeper, but you can just forget that I said that).

 

IMG_5071While I originally had my heart set on ordering a cortado with hemp milk, the heat was just too much to bear and I opted instead for a large cold brew with hemp milk, which cost me $4.00.  I was especially pleased that Birch offers nondairy options besides soy milk, and I have to say that my drink was nothing short of delicious! The cold brew was smooth with a more mild flavor than Starbucks’ which I found much more pleasant to my taste buds. One potential downside is that Birch’s beverages only come in small or large, and that the large is more like a medium, but then again Americans are used to beverages being the size of a water tower (I will save that rant for another day). If you are feeling hungry, Birch also sells a variety of baked goods which you can eat in house or take with you to go.  See below for some quick stats on Birch and try it out for yourself! I’m looking forward to going back in the winter for a cozy coffee session with a good book!

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Birch Coffee:

Address: 21 East 27th Street

Takes credit cards: Yes

Noise Level: Medium-Loud

Atmosphere: 4/5 (I was meh about the music but that’s my own preference.)

Recommend to a friend: Yes

Instagram: @birchcoffee