The first time I visited New York, I was very fascinated by Starbucks and the Americans running around in the street drinking coffee. Experiencing that, I wanted to open my own coffee shop in Copenhagen. As coffee is something that you have at the office and drink at home, people didn’t think I would get any customers . . . that was back in ’97!
The last five years, the coffee scene in New York has changed a lot and I believe that the amount of shops have doubled since we moved here three years ago. Small individual roasters with a passion for good coffee have opened their own shops, each with a mission that every cup has to be a perfect experience. They strive for perfection at each step — from sourcing, roasting and brewing — and the quality is high.
The barista is the last person in this trail of craftspeople seeking perfection, and the one that inevitably hands the cup over to the customer. Being a good barista is now a very hip, cool thing to be, and you can see that it takes a lot of hours and a lot of cups of coffee to learn how to get it right!
I’m addicted to good coffee. I don’t want to waste my coffee fix on a bad cup, and I’m willing to go far to get it. Very often we stop by at the Toby’s in West Village on our way around the city. They recently opened this one as they’re first New York shop was in Brooklyn. Toby is an Australian who started his roasting carreer in his mom’s garage and now has three coffee shops in New York.
I can recommend to try their homemade blueberry muffins to eat with the coffee — such a treat!
With my interest in design, travel and culture, Monocle magazine has always been a good inspiration for me. They started expanding their brand with a small boutique in London, then as their success grew, they spread to other cities. Now, you can experience the simple style and good design in their shop on Hudson Street in West Village. This New York outpost is a tiny little shop with design goods, clothing and, of course, a sample of each of the 81 (and counting) magazines published since they started in 2007.