Tag Archives: espresso

Daydreaming A Little Daydream at Dreamy Daydream

The space at Daydream Coffee and Surf in Costa Mesa, California is great, but it’s missing a few things that would make it perfect: A bed, a TV, and a set of keys to the space with our name on it.

Scenes from a Snow Day … New York City

As the pix below show, Tuesday was a “snow day” here in New York City due to the massive winter storm, dubbed Juno, that started hitting the city Monday afternoon.

But while the blizzard started out big, blustery and with very heavy snowfall Monday, the second wave of the storm that arrived later that night and on Tuesday morning was fairly mild and didn’t live up to the epic snowpocalypse (or snowmaggeddon, if you prefer) that was forecast for the city.

We were surprised how little snow had piled up in a bowl we had left outside on our balcony overnight. Still, NYC effectively shut down Tuesday and most of us spent most of the day at home with an official day off from the office, if not from the work itself (we still managed to hold two conference calls with our clients in Europe in morning).

With conditions milder than expected, we took some time out to wander around and go for a long walk in our downtown Manhattan neighborhood, enjoying the relative tranquility that comes with much of the city’s business being shut down on such an occasion. We made some stops along the way for Chinese steamed dumplings and a coffee, too.

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Shiny Cool Super-Minimal Unbranded Bag of Bear Pond Espresso Beans

On our recent visit back to Tokyo, we picked up a bag of freshly-roasted espresso beans from Bear Pond Espresso at their cafe at On the Corner in Shibuya. We love the totally unbranded, shiny, silvery bag — it’s only markings are the roasting batch and date numbers.

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“Water is the Most Essential Element of Life Because …”

This signage made our day. It’s in front of the Jolly Goat, a tiny espresso bar in Hell’s Kitchen, in New York City, and reads: “Water is the Most Essential Element of Life Because w/out water you can’t make coffee.” True.

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On the Scene … At the Intelligentsia Coffee Truck in New York

We stopped by the recently minted New York City outpost of Intelligentsia Coffee in Chelsea, an NYC neighborhood that is home to the city’s largest art galleries and, as such, a global art-world hub. The new Intellgentsia is actually two distinct cafes: a smart, beautifully designed cafe in the lobby of the High Line Hotel, and a mobile espresso bar set up in a vintage Citroen truck parked in the garden courtyard in front of the hotel.The coffee is great, and the drinks menu includes the “Angeleno,” a agave-sweetened iced coffee based on a recipe created in Los Angeles as an alternative to the ubiquitous Starbucks frappuccinos. Perfect for summer. If you’re not an espresso freak, a visit is worth it if only to appreciate the decor and relax in the wonderfully-designed space.

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Our New Coffee-Making Toy

We just picked up this artfully crafted “La Cupola” espresso maker by Alessi at the Eataly foodie emporium in Smeraldo, in Milan, Italy. We couldn’t resist, what with coffee being something close to sacred to us here at GG, and the design of this device making it an object of beauty. As soon as we post this, we’re going to brew up a double espresso on ice! Ciao.

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On the Street … Drive-Thru Coffee Mural at Zebra Coffee

Zebra House Coffee is probably the best place to get an espresso coffee in the surf-mecca Southern California town of San Clemente. It’s a laidback cafe and a fine space to sip on an iced Americano while flipping through back issues of Surfer magazine. In fitting SoCal fashion, Zebra offers a drive-thru service, and it has this cool graffiti-style, street-artsy mural painting for signage pointing customers in the right direction.

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Cool Spaces … At Happy Bones Coffee NYC

Lately we’ve started popping into the recently opened Happy Bones Coffee a lot. (See pix below.) Happy Bones is an Aussie Kiwi-staffed espresso cafe in downtown New York City. It’s a tiny place with three tables on an short, less-remarkable stretch of Broome Street in the ill-defined, mashed-up border area where Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo and Nolita all converge at the Lower East Side’s western edge.

Happy Bones serves up a solid menu of third-wave coffee brews and espresso drinks, including an honest “flat white.” Their coffee is roasted and supplied by Counter Culture (its barista training center is a couple of blocks away). But what really strikes us about the cafe is its decor, the clever design and clean style of the small space, which is drenched in a white minimalist color scheme that’s warm and inviting rather than cold and stark. A skylight and floor-to-ceiling glass frontage draw light into the place and give it some comfortable airiness.

The cafe has a legit downtown-culture and art vibe. A playlist of mostly 1980s and ’90s British music invariably is playing over the sound system (tunes by the likes of the Clash, Specials, Blur, etc.) and a collection of coffee-table art and photography books are on sale next to bags of coffee beans.

BTW … what’s with all the Australian expat baristas and bartenders in NYC these days? Seems like an invasion, and we <3 it. (The Kiwi invasion, too.) 😉

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On the Scene … At Propellor Coffee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

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We recently popped by Propellor Coffee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on one of those interminable snowy days during this year’s remarkably harsh winter in New York City. This cafe is a solid, local ‘third-wave” coffee joint with much more generous space than many of the miniscule espresso bars that these days seem to be opening up every five seconds in NYC. The atmosphere is warm, mild, friendly, unobtrusive amid a decor of spare 1960s- and ’70s-era vintage furniture and walls filled with thematic, similarly aged and well-preserved photography of airplanes and airlines, in keeping with the spirit of the cafe’s name. The usual retinue of cafe punters are here, the laptop brigades and freelance designer/scriptwriter/fashion blogger types, and the local hipster coffee nerds. It’s a wonderful place to while away an hour or two on a lazy Saturday afternoon nursing a hot latte while reading an actual printed newspaper copy of the New York Times, checking your Instagram, and staying warm.

Broken-Heart Macaron at Cafe Grumpy

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Super delicious macarons at Cafe Grumpy, an espresso bar and cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, including the one pictured here with a cute broken heart graphic printed on it. Yummy! Pop-cultural reference: This Cafe Grumpy is used as the location set for the Cafe Grumpy that appears in Lena Dunham’s hit HBO television series Girls.

On the Scene … At Lot 61 Coffee Roasters in Amsterdam

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We paid a visit to Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters’s espresso bar and roastery on Amsterdam’s Kinkerstraat street. Lot 61 was opened in early 2013 by Australian coffee connoissuer and entrepreneur Adam Craig, who used to live in New York City, where he had opened and run the acclaimed Culture Espresso in NYC’s fashion-garment district. (In full disclosure, Adam is an old friend of ours who we’ve known since those NYC days.) In  just a few months, Lot 61 has already upped the game in the rapidly growing Amsterdam third-wave coffee scene, as Amsterdam’s coffee lovers increasingly warm to the idea of take-out coffee and the importance of carefully sourced, roasted and brewed beans. The coffee here is first-rate. Check ’em out.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from New York’s Lower East Side!

Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! We’re in NYC this Christmas day and although we don’t usually get caught up in the holiday traditions — it’s just not our thing —  it’s nice to see a Christmas tree as we sip a hot Blue Bottle cappuccino on this very cold Christmas afternoon in New York’s Lower East Side. It’s also really nice to see the downtown streets so quiet, as most businesses are closed, except for this recent cafe addition to the LES espresso coffee scene called Whynot on Orchard Street.

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City Life … Surfer Wetsuits Drying Out in NYC LES

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Surfer wetsuits hanging out to dry on a sidewalk clothes rack on Orchard Street in front of Lost Weekend NYC, a surfing-themed cafe and shop in New York’s “Below Delancey” neighborhood of the Lower East Side (LES). The small cafe is a magnet for neighborhood regulars, surfers, and art-fashion-media and other creative folks living and working in the LES.

At Saturdays Surf in Tokyo

The spacious Saturdays Surf store (pix below) in the fashionable border strip between Tokyo’s uber-hip Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro neighborhoods is a carbon copy of its New York City original in terms of winning retail branding concept: Espresso bar and a collection of over-priced surfboards at the front of the shop and an inviting wood-decked outdoor patio behind the store. Between the two sections is the merch, that wonderful collection of aspirational surfer-inspired fashion and accessories that punters must walk through when they take their freshly brewed Americanos out back. It’s a kind of exit-through-the-gift-shop tactic but even better ’cause the customer has to walk through the store twice even if they’ve just come to enjoy a cup of espresso on the back patio. The clothes are well made, there’s cool selection of Van’s and tees, and even a curated collection of surfer photography books and videos. And there’s actual surfing gear like board shorts, fins and wax for sale, too.

In terms of style, the interior of SS Tokyo is a stand-alone building with fresh, clean lines and a Malibu contemporary feel, whereas the NYC flagship on SoHo’s Crosby Street is cozy and crammed into a long, narrow, old-school brick-and-mortar tenement (espresso bar at front, outdoor patio in the back, dubbed “The Backyard”), albeit with that SS arty-urban-surfer-dreams-of-Bondi Beach aesthetic indelibly stamped on the interior. Props to Tokyo for getting Kurtis Kulig, the “Love Me” dude, to write that ubiquitous graffiti meme on the wall behind the espresso bar. In any case, if you’ve got the time, the Tokyo SS is worth a visit, if even for a coffee and the relaxing patio deck and its view of laidback Naka-Meguro. The clothes are super dope, too. For more check out SS’s regularly updated blog.

[Traduction française ci-dessous. | Traducción al español está por debajo de | 以下の日本語訳。]

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Voici quelques photos du magasin de surf samedi dans le quartier entre Daikanyama et Naka-Meguro à Tokyo. L’intérieur de la boutique est belle, bien-design. Le concept de magasin est basé sur le concept original qui a débuté dans la ville magasin de surf samedi à New York. Il ya un bar à espresso à l’avant du magasin, et une terrasse extérieure à l’arrière du magasin.

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Aquí están algunas fotos de la tienda Surf sábados en el barrio entre Daikanyama y Naka-Meguro, en Tokio. El interior de la tienda es muy bonito diseño. El concepto de tienda se basa en el concepto original que se inició en la ciudad de sábados tienda Surf Nueva York. Hay una cafetería en la parte delantera de la tienda, y un patio al aire libre en la parte trasera de la tienda.

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ここでは東京の代官山と那珂目黒、間に近所で土曜日サーフストアのいくつかの写真があります。店舗の内部は美しい、十分に-デザインです。ストアコンセプトは、ニューヨーク·シティ土曜サーフ店で開始された独自のコンセプトに基づいています。店の前にあるエスプレッソバー、店の奥の屋外パティオがあります。

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Hier sind einige Bilder des Samstags Surf Shop in der Nachbarschaft zwischen Daikanyama und Naka-Meguro, in Tokio. Das Innere des Ladens ist schön, gut-design. Das Store-Konzept basiert auf dem ursprünglichen Konzept, das an der New York City samstags Surf Shop gestartet beruhte. Es ist eine Espresso-Bar an der Front des Ladens, und eine Terrasse auf der Rückseite des Ladens.