Pastries Infused With Tea and Love at Tiny Pinecone Teahouse

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Lauren Mowery

Pop-ups continue to proliferate around the city, as rents remain absurdly high and storefronts vacant. Greenwich Village newcomer Tiny Pinecone (58 West 8th Street, 732-977-8775) fills the area's void in high-quality teas, which are here paired with pastries that outshine the usual baked goods found in local cafés. But be careful of falling in love: For now, the cute Japanese-inspired spot plans to remain in its 8th Street location (a woefully cursed block for retailers and restaurants) only until February 2015.

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Want to Drink Better Coffee? Think About It as You Would Wine

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Lauren Mowery

A few months ago, I had a conversation with a respected wine journalist and Master of Wine that left me incredulous for this person's surprising attitude towards coffee. Asked to expound upon the significant parallels between both drinks, a nascent but certainly timely topic, this industry luminary quipped, "The only thing I care about in my coffee is that it is scalding hot." It wasn't a joke; it was declared almost indignantly. This writer might as well have told me their favorite beer in the world was Bud Light. Maybe this Mad Men-era opinion was earned after multiple decades in the wine industry, but I like to think not; and if you think this way, you are woefully out of date as well.

How could a wine lover and educator, a connoisseur of flavor and devotee to complexity and origin, nonchalantly dismiss another comparably complex, fragile, and nuanced liquid gift from the earth?

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The Elk Helps West Village Regain Its Mojo Via Coffee

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Lauren Mowery

For all the acclaim the West Village receives for its charm -- (dilapidated) cobblestone streets, (expensive) historic townhouses, and (overrated) Sarah Jessica Parker sightings -- the far western edge of the neighborhood has been surprisingly underserved in a multitude of realms, including coffee (and groceries, and gyms, and ethnic food). But this week, a new coffeehouse opens with the ambition of bringing quality beans and locally sourced goods back to the hood: The Elk (128 Charles Street, 212-933-4780) has (softly) debuted in the former Mojo space on Charles Street.

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Why You Should Go Taste Joe's Micro-Lot Coffee

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Lauren Mowery

One of New York's original coffee shops, Joe, is now offering three different Central American micro-lots every Monday and Saturday morning until sold out, but only at particular locations. As the name "micro-lot" implies, there are only so many bags of these unique coffees, so tasting these beans requires a little planning -- but Joe wants you to sip them all.

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Greenpoint's Champion Coffee Heads West to Meatpacking

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Up towards the north end of Greenpoint, Champion Coffee (1108 Manhattan Avenue, 718-383-5195) has been a neighborhood fixture, serving espresso-only coffee drinks and a fairly broad breakfast menu, since 2006. It's a great hangout for those working (or pretending to work) while utilizing wifi inside, or a good spot for actually relaxing out back on the patio.

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Birch Coffee Grows Into Small UES Space

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Lauren Mowery

In just two years, Midtown East has become one of the best neighborhoods in the city for specialty coffee -- to the point that writing that sentence has actually become redundant -- and now its influence is expanding beyond its borders. You can now find great coffee as far north as 62nd Street, thanks to Birch Coffee (134-1/2 East 62nd Street, no phone). Though technically an Upper East location, it's close enough to cubicle land to qualify as a coffee break destination.


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Nobletree Delivers Groundbreaking "Estate" Coffee

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Lauren Mowery
A New York original is set to enter the city's coffee scene. Helmed by a true New Yorker (OK, by way of New Jersey), Nobletree will introduce a new business model, advance the Red Hook revival, and upset the balance of the city's specialty coffee scene.

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Here's Hole in the Wall, a New Worthy Coffeeshop in Midtown

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Lauren Mowery
The aptly named Hole in the Wall (420 Fifth Avenue) coffee shop builds on several themes of New York's coffee growth in the last couple years: the proliferation of quality java spots in midtown and the dominance of Aussies opening them. In addition, the café may be continuing the trend of closet-sized specialty shops inside midtown office building common spaces, joining similarly tiny Bluestone Lane.

Hole in the Wall opened in mid-June, but Australian owner Barry Dry already ambitiously intends to expand the concept to another location in Midtown West (thankfully) before a third in the financial district.

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Bluestone Lane Brings Specialty Coffee and Good Food to the West Village

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Lauren Mowery
I've wondered before in this column why good coffee and equally good food couldn't be paired together more often in the city. And yet again, it took a group of Australians from Melbourne to open a coffee shop with a full menu; or is it a restaurant with great emphasis on coffee?

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A Primer on Cold Brew Coffee and Where to Drink It Around Town

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Lauren Mowery
It's summer, or at least pretending to be summer, and thus the season for iced coffee. Almost every coffee shop will have a version: some clouded with dairy products and laden in sugar, invariably more expensive than a plain cup of joe, and slurped down far quicker. Leaving aside frozen concoctions and desserts disguised as drinks -- affogatos; Vietnamese coffee; Viennese coffee; and caramel-laced, whipped cream-based treats -- there are generally two ways in which iced coffee is prepared in specialty coffee shops: cold brew steeped for hours or hot brewed over ice (known as ice brew).


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