Tar Pit, in east Williamsburg or Greenpoint

I recently went with a friend to that little coffee shop called Tar Pit. Its a few blocks from my friend’s home, and now, the closest decent coffee shop around it so we decided to give it a try on that sunday morning!

The area is a little bit off north-east of the Graham avenue neighborhood in brooklyn, in that semi-residential semi-industrial area after the BQE, south Greenpoint and east Williamsburg. Looking at the exact spot, and looking at Wikipedia, I would say this is Williamsburg (1 block from Greenpoint) but some people call it Greenpoint… Where is the truth? Anyway,  not as many pedestrian traffic as on Bedford avenue. or in Manhattan, however definitely many people living there, and only a few blocks from Graham. Could be a good bet!

I would not write about it if my espresso had nothing remarkable. But it did! Very nice shot, dark but not too much, good crema, perfect extraction. Not too chocolate taste (yes I am in a period where i dont want my espresso to be too chocolate, for me it starts to do like oak in wine… ). Yummy!

The coffee is from a small local roaster called kitten coffee. I almost bought some beans but decided to keep it for later (have a bit of a stock now at home) but from the taste of my espresso it seems they do a real good job there (Luckily they look better at roasting than at making good looking websites or knock boxes…)

And about the place, what to say? Very nice and small cosy coffee shop, the staff was very kind. I missed a good cold glass of good water with my shot (I had not that good, not totally cold tap water). Barista does a very good job as I also tried the Capucino of my friend. Oh! And also, surprising for a coffee shop of that size, they do a slow drip japanese style cold brewed coffee. I didn’t try, it’s not my thing, but it is interesting!

in short, if your in the area and want a good coffee slightly off the main trails, go check it out! You won’t regret.

  •  Tar Pit
    135 Woodpoint Rd.
    Brooklyn NY 11222

A very handsome city

I love New York and I will love it more and more I feel. However, I must confess I had a hard time get along with downtown Manhattan. This might change!

My favorite coffee is coming to town, and it’s going to be downtown! That was a rumor I knew very much for a while but I was not totally sure yet. However, I read it somewhere now so I guess it ain’t anymore rumor stage.

If you haven’t heard about Handsome Coffee, you can know a bit more about them here and here. Handsome is my favorite coffee at the moment and it has nothing to deal with the fact that these folks are handsome… It is really about taste and flavor.. I can’t say for espresso, but for french press yes. This coffee transformed my french press which was a default choice, waiting for my new espresso machine to come as soon as possible… I don’t anymore see my press as a fallback instrument!

One other thing great. I heard somewhere that this Handsome shop might be a bit fundamentalist. Fundamentalism is not always a good thing but some time it is… I heard there would be no low-fat milk, no soy milk, no  half and half, no sugar only whole milk and dark juice! That is a great thing. No more young hipsta-hippie working lady with their yoga pad and their Chihuahua ordering soy vanilla latte to go before me in the line! Great! (I would love a coffee shop with only espresso and only porcelain if your ask me for more fundamentalism)

The other good thing is that my office will move to DUMBO so I will just have to cross the bridge to reach the handsome spot!

  • Handsome Coffee Roaster at Demi Monde (opening soon)
    90 Broad Street

Gimme some good coffee (… and some money)

coffee menu at Gimme

This morning, while I was on my way to the grocery store on my bike, I passed in front of a new Gimme! shop. While I know Gimme! is one of the first speciality coffee around Manhattan and Brooklyn and a very respectable house, I never had the chance to try them yet. That was the perfect occasion!

The coffee spot, well located on Roebling, is nice with no pretentiousness at all. I appreciated it for not being too hypish. It is clearly about coffee here. I had to buy some beans for a friend, so that is what I did first, and the coffee menu is quite interesting I must say. I went for their basic espresso blend, “Leftist Espresso”, the one they use for their espresso there. I ended up making my choice by simply choosing the ones that were roasted the more recently… which was 5 days before which is ok. I am looking forward to try it.

Here, like at many places, they would offer you a drink if you buy beans. I was about to try the “Leftist Espresso” on their machine when I saw a sign, “Featured beverage”. Here was a Honduras single origin roasted for Espresso, “El Sauce” and I was definitely on for trying this. The barista was good, was able to speak about it and I said go. The drink was really good, just the right size for an espresso in my opinion (I forgot to picture it…), the taste was clean and fresh with some fruits flavor of the apple and peach family but still a good strength. Very good job!

But I wanted to conclude on what stroke me at first: are you really charging 4.75$ for this featured espresso? What’s wrong with you? Ok, I know some coffee  gets crazy expensive at the source, but this is not the case for this Honduras, especially since you guys sell it 16$ by the bag. I paid only half price as I bought beans but really, I don’t get the point here to charge 4.75$ for that really good espresso dual shot!

I’ll go back to try the regular blend but this makes me very sceptical. Too bad because beyond that, it was almost a perfect coffee experience.