July 30, 2006

Cafe Sutra 639 A 5th Ave. at 18th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn

Indian-themed espresso and dessert shop

Coffee: **** Overall: *****

Coffee Of The Day: Tres Santos, Colombian

Offerings: Assorted pastries. Espresso beverages, tea, beer and wine. Coffee by the pound.

Unique Drinks: Specialty lattes including the White Lotus, Ghiradelli white chocolate and raspberry and the Shiva, Ghiradelli chocolate and peppermint.

Spacial Treats: Red Velvet cupcake

Interior: Indian motif with warm colors. Magenta and white walls with maroon velvet tapestries and sheer gold and pink curtains create a doorway to the espresso bar. Colorful artwork is displayed on the wall. Space is filled with large, comfy couches and chairs as well as high wooden tables. Although the place is relatively small, it feels roomy because of the placement of the furniture.

Music: Mix of eclectic lounge music reminiscent of the Thievery Corporation.

Clientele: Young, 30-something crowd.

Free WiFi: Yes

Credit Cards: Yes, $5.00 minimum.

Barista: Friendly, blond young man. Apologized for giving me five singles when he ran out of five dollar bills. Asked if I liked the coffee when I brought my empty cup to the counter.

Extras: Magazine rack with current issues to read. Outdoor patio in the back. Small bench in front of the store. Cafe Sutra also caters private parties and events.

Notes: The coffee only got four stars because I'm not a big fan of Latin American coffees. I prefer Indonesian and African coffees.

July 26, 2006

An alternative to THAT coffee shop.

Excellent ***** Good **** Average *** Poor ** Lousy *

This blog is for coffee lovers in NYC who want an alternative to Starbucks. When I moved to NYC, I was surprised by the lack of independently owned coffee shops. Gone are the days of sitting in a coffeehouse, listening to poetry and exchanging ideas. Nowadays, coffeehouses seem to be filled with pretentious, hipster drones who are joined at the hip to their laptops. I guess I'm old school. I miss the days when baristas had body piercings and purple hair instead of looking like clean-cut, corporate robots who are ready to serve you with a phony smile. It's unfortunate that Starbucks is ALL a lot of people know about coffee.

I am now going on a quest to check out and rate coffeehouses in NYC. Let's see what else life has to offer!

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