March 17, 2017

A Buzz in Park Slope

Park Slope consistently ranks among the most beloved neighborhoods in the five boroughs, and with ample reason. Baltic’s Park Slope condos place residents at the crossroads of Brooklyn’s cultural renaissance of plentiful green spaces, thriving arts offerings, superb restaurants, and incomparable nightlife. However, Park Slope is also home to passionate micro-roasters and virtuoso baristas. Below are but a few of the neighborhood’s standout coffee shops, all just a short walk from Baltic.


Gorilla Coffee  472 Bergen Street

Gorilla Coffee uses only fair trade, organic beans with dark profiles to create intense flavors. As with many of the best brewers in Brooklyn, Gorilla Coffee fresh-roasts their own choice beans from a variety of regions. The Bergen Street location employs some of the best baristas in NYC. The entire bar has been lowered to increase contact between customer and staff, educate consumers via a better view of the process, and provide a glimpse of the top-of-the-line La Marzocco Strada EP and Modbar espresso machines. For a taste of their signature blend, a 10-year evolution that continues to change with the seasons, take home a bag of Blendimentosis.


Ninth Street Espresso  333 Douglass Street

Ninth Street Espresso is serious about coffee. Not to be mistaken for being a bakery or restaurant, this coffee bar has a sparse menu, with a handful of palate-cleansing pastries rounding out the short drinks list. This is simply a means of keeping the focus on what could be the smoothest espresso in New York. And while some shops will give you basic info about their beans such as country of origin, fair trade status, or whether or not they’re organic, Ninth Street Espresso ups the game with background information that allows you to truly appreciate the science behind the art. Take, for example, the Alphabet City blend, Ninth Street’s signature coffee. Not only do you get a rundown on the country and region, but also the farm, the cultivar, elevation of growth, and the processing method.


Root Hill Café  262 4th Avenue

Using only the best Brazilian and Dominican beans, as roasted by Dallis Bros. in Queens, Root Hill Café guarantees a full-bodied, smooth cup in a quiet, cozy space that’s also a nice spot to park for a bit of work. Make sure to eat while you’re here: in addition to great drinks, the food menu features both breakfast and lunch. Start the day with steel-cut oats, blueberries, steamed cream, brown sugar, and walnuts; chase it with a café au lait; and stay for a hearty lunch of spinach, potato, and cheese pie before taking your afternoon espresso.


Konditori  186 5th Avenue

In Sweden, a fika, a coffee break often accompanied by a small sweet on the side, is something nearly everyone enjoys in a konditori (a patisserie or café). Konditori now brings this tradition to NYC, and with great success. Easily found in a storefront marked with the Swedish flag, Konditori is known for its medium-roast house blend of Arabic and three different Central American beans. Coffee is brewed strictly on the hour, guaranteeing consistency in every cup, and iced coffee is cold-brewed for 24 hours to reduce acidity and bitterness. The shop is welcoming, with exposed brick and raw wood, and features a communal table and a selection of baked treats, just as the Swedes envisioned it.


Everyman Espresso  162 5th Avenue

Meticulous about his sourcing and roasting, Everyman Espresso owner Sam Penix prefers beans from Durham, North Carolina’s Counter Culture Coffee. He is equally particular about the quality of his baristas, and employed the 2015 Northeast Barista Competition Champion, Sam Lewontin. Just as adding a zest of lemon or even a splash of milk can enhance or balance other characteristics in an espresso, Lewontin found that traditional bar ingredients such as bitters and simple syrup can also affect flavor profiles in new and satisfying ways. While you won’t find his inspired espresso old-fashioned or snow-day (an espresso toddy) on the main board, chat up the baristas, and ask for a menu of specialty mixers. Or, stick to what Everyman truly does best and have a cup of the finest coffee in a uniquely designed setting.


Blue Bottle Coffee  203 7th Avenue

Blue Bottle Coffee is indeed worthy of sharing the name of Central Europe’s first coffeehouse, the famed Blue Bottle of Vienna. While the original introduced coffee to the masses of the newly liberated Austrian city nearly three centuries ago, Blue Bottle in Park Slope is attempting to upstage serious competition. To its advantage, Blue Bottle is fanatical when it comes to freshness, vowing to brew and serve coffee that has been roasted within 48 hours (less than 24 hours for those ordering by mail). We recommend trying a cup from their Chemex pour-over: a simple carafe system that finesses fresh beans with gentle soaking from swan-neck kettles to ensure that the grounds aren’t flooded and that the water temperature is optimized for the perfect cup.