We're not really hardcore coffee geeks here at the Glenwood blog, but we definitely know what we like… and what we don't. Stumptown, for instance, is always awesome, as is a cup of anything from Grumpy.
Joe the Art of Coffee is pretty first rate too. And Blue Bottle, La Columbe, Everyman Espresso, and, when we're in DUMBO, Brooklyn Roasting Company is our go-to cup. Necessary bonus: they all serve great sweet treats. If you live near, work near, or are passing by any of the above, be grateful that you can spend your hard-earned caffeine budget on an excellent brew, and don't have to settle for Fourbucks… er, Starbucks. And for downtown Glenwood residents in the Tribeca/FiDi/Battery Park City area, you should add two local spots to your list, Kaffe 1668 and Hugh Jackman's Laughing Man.
Kaffe 1688 Coffee
Swedish twins Mikael and Tomas Tjarnberg opened the first Kaffee 1688 on Greenwich Street some five years ago–the name refers to the year in which, supposedly, coffee replaced beer as New Yorker's breakfast beverage of choice–and the stylish, cozy, buzzy spot has been such a hit that last fall the Tjarnbergs opened a second, larger Kaffe just a few blocks uptown. The coffee here is terrific, with a variety of single-origin, individually brewed cups competing for your attention with several types of espresso.
In a hurry? Just get the daily drip. Much of the appeal at both Kaffe 1688s is in the space itself, all minimalist and industrial but without being cold, and the good-looking local crowd. Plus Kaffe 1688 offers more than by-the-way delicious scones, muffins and cookies (that Swedish Cave beauty, below, is a personal favorite), with an appealing selection of sandwiches, salads, and soups available at their "uptown" location. Kaffe 1688 South is located at Greenwich Street between Warren and Murray; Kaffe 1668 North is on Greenwich between Beach and Hubert. Both locations are open on weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and on weekends at 7:00 until 10:00. For lots more info and a look at the Kaffe 1668 menu, visit the Tjarnberg's website.
Hugh Jackman's Laughing Man Coffee Shop
First, before we get to all of the laudable, charitable reasons to get your next cup of caffeine at Hugh Jackman's Laughing Man, we'll just say this: the Laughing Man Flat White–a double shot of espresso mixed with microfoam, or streamed milk–is flat-out awesome, one of the best we've ever had. Get one of these with any of the superb pastries supplied by the great Bed-Stuy bakery Dough, and you will "all be happy" indeed. But there's a deeper purpose to these three tiny Laughing Man shops, two of which are on Duane Street, the third on North Moore Street in Battery Park City, facing the water in the Mercantile Exchange Building. Jackman and his co-founders, the father-and-son team of Barry and David Steingard, funnel half of all revenue into their Laughing Man Worldwide charity, which provides relief and support on a micro-level in distressed communities in Africa, South America, and more. As Steingard the Younger says, "Our vision is simple: may all be happy, may all be free of disease, may all have well being, and none suffer misery of any kind." Sounds good to us. For more info on all things Laughing Man–including online ordering of their bags of coffee beans–visit their website.