I’ve been getting referred to some of the best places lately, and Stumptown has been one my favorites so far. My friend’s cousin, Imraan, recently came to visit NYC from Capetown and told me about this coffee joint he had come across. I figured if he’s missing it from S. Africa, then I definitely have to try.
How awesome are the baristas in their vintage 50s get up? I was not expecting it but love that, along with all the old school roasters hanging back in the decor, add so much to the ambiance — makes it feel so much more authentic.
Not to say that it isn’t. In fact, before I went, I had no idea how much press this place has gotten ever since its Ace Hotel grand opening last September. TIME magazine has even been touting it as a major player in coffee’s “third wave,” referring to the free-trade philosophy rivaling the corporate likes of Starbucks. Owner Duane Sorenson is well-known to be bit neurotic when it comes to his roast. Some say he’s remaking the coffee business.
“[Stumptown] routinely pays more at auction for prized lots of coffee beans than anyone else, offers more single-origin coffees than anyone (20 at the New York plant) and is at the forefront of nearly every new-coffee frontier: espresso-delivery technology, international partnerships and generally changing the idea of coffee from a staple commodity, like corn or sugar, to something closer to wine, with seasons and terroir and varietals as different as Burgundy chardonnay and Austrian riesling.” [TIME]
Stumptown gained a cult following through it’s Portland-based outpost, after which Sorenson set his sights on NY. I’m so glad he did, because the latte I had was pretty nice…actually delicious. The iced latte my friend Summar ordered was yum too — I guess it lived up to the hype.
Coffee lovers, you must try.
18 W 29th St.
New York, NY 10001