Are Snobby Coffee Rules Made to Be Broken?

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Third wave or reich?
It's easy to roll one's eyes at some of the serious -- a/k/a "third-wave" -- coffee bars in this town. The New York Post today rounds up some of the major no-nos certain high-end coffee shops simply will not tolerate. Like, espresso to go. Or grinding fresh-roasted beans. Of course, New York needs the kind of uncompromising java extremists such places breed in order to push the rest of us to aspire to better caffeination. But when does coffee snobbery go too far?

RBC NY doesn't allow you to take espresso to go. Ninth Street Espresso, on the other hand, has softened on this rule because so many people reacted negatively -- in some cases, violently. Verdict? If you can't take 10 minutes out of your day to enjoy four sips of hot liquid in one place, you should probably be grateful someone is forcing you to stay put.

Abraço refuses to stock soy milk, or anything other than whole, for several reasons, including lack of space. So, what happens if you're lactose intolerant? No cortado for you! Verdict? This injustice deprives poor vegans of just one more of life's pleasures. So, yeah, thumbs down.

Don't even think of asking Blue Bottle to grind your coffee. They'll sell you beans and they'll sell you a grinder, but they won't sell you ground coffee. Experts say coffee starts losing its freshness about 45 seconds after it's ground. So, what do we think? This is strict but fair. Sometimes you need a little tough love, even from your local barista. Alec Baldwin's local Starbucks notwithstanding.

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Kris Berg
Kris Berg

Would the village voice kindly point out that Kenneth nye serves mocha, doesn't that alter the coffee, more than a touch of vanilla,almond, or whatever syrup, blue bottle's new orleans has too much chicory, and comes with sugar and milk, RBC has vietnamese and milk cold brewsso that would alter the coffee too right as well as mocha, perhaps its hypocrisy to allow and pretend to act snobbish, there is nothing wrong with this of course, but a line has to be drawnto just get the basics correct, and the rest that's debatable leave alone.


Some of the rules are actually bullox, others make sense, abraco is not a rule, its just a small space so naturally you wouldn't expect certain things, although I am not sure about others that folks may or may not know about , coffee should be ground to order, though some folks don't do it for ice coffee, espresso to go rule makes sense, a 2oz shot of espresso goes bad, your better off holding your mouth, as for decaf, certain unblended brands do better, so I hear, blue bottle, their new orleans is sugary, milky, and too chicory, the deadly sins, iced lattes, yes no,iced espresso yes, no single origin iced, yes, no, multi origin yes,  the important parts are the same, freshness and ground to order quality beans, technique, and that's basically it


You know what the silly thing is Village Voice, many third wave coffee shops break the rules all the time, including the famed stump down