The Coffee Spot has finally made it to Brooklyn and where better to start than today’s Coffee Spot, Daily Press Coffee? Conveniently located on Havemeyer Street near the foot of Williamsburg Bridge, this is the second outpost of Daily Press Coffee, a chain of precisely two. The original, also in Brooklyn, on Franklin Avenue, opened five years ago, with the current location joining it three years later.
It’s a delightful little spot, offering a simple menu of coffee, cakes and pastries, plus an all-day breakfast menu in the shape of breakfast burritos made on demand. The coffee is from New York roasters, Irving Farm, with a concise espresso menu, bulk-brew filter and the house speciality, with a nod to the Latin neighbourhood, Café con Leche.
Although fairly narrow, it’s not quite arms-outstretched-touch-both-sides narrow (it is, perhaps, twice that wide) and since it’s fairly long, with a high, white-washed ceiling, this leads to a sense of space that belies its small size. The interior is beautifully laid out, with wooden floor, bare-brick or whitewashed walls, a sumptuous wooden counter and wooden furniture. The result is very pleasing on the eye, making for a lovely, relaxing place to sit and drink your coffee.
February 2016: Daily Press is now Northerly Coffee, serving Stumptown Coffee with an expanded food offering. I caught up with the owner, Matt, on my return and you can get the full story in the Coffee Spot Update.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
If you’re heading to Brooklyn from downtown Manhattan, the Williamsburg Bridge makes a natural entry point for any coffee tour. Better still, it drops you off not far from Daily Press Coffee, although to get there, you first have to negotiate the maze of crisscrossing freeways, metro lines and bus station platforms that seem to converge at the foot of the bridge. Another plus point (for me, at least) is that it’s a short walk from my hotel in China Town to the Manhattan end of the bridge.
If you don’t fancy the walk, with its striking views of Downtown (and, if you want to dodge the cyclists on the other side of the bridge, views of Midtown’s iconic Empire State and Chrysler Buildings) or if you are coming from further afield, the Marcy Avenue stop on the J, M & Z lines deposits you in a similarly convenient spot.
However you get there, Daily Press is an oasis of calm after the chaos that is the plaza at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge. Occupies a narrow shop front, with wall-to-floor windows, and a recessed glass door in centre, it’s not much to look at from the outside. All that glass does mean that it’s very bright inside, with the light from the front supplemented by another, smaller window at the back behind the counter. If that wasn’t enough, a row of lights hangs over the counter itself.
Daily Press is effectively split into two, the front given over to seating, the back housing the counter, and, behind that, a small kitchen where the burritos are prepared. There are two small, round tables against the right-hand wall, one of which is in the bay window. Opposite them, against the left-hand wall, are two long benches, a bit like church pews, each with two small, round tables. Again, the first table is the bay window by the door. In all, you could comfortably seat 12.
The back of the store is spanned by the short part of the L-shaped counter. You order here, under the watchful eye of the cake, while to your right, the long part of the L houses three grinders (house, guest, decaf), followed by the La Marzocco Strada espresso machine. Finally, since this is counter service only, you collect your coffee at the top of L, just past the end of the La Marzocco.
The coffee is from Irving Farm, a roaster I’ve never knowingly tried before. I selected the Café con Leche, a double shot of espresso with 4oz milk, raw cane sugar and sea salt, which, I was told, was very popular with the locals. While I liked it, the principle taste was the sweetness of the sugar rather than the coffee. However, it made an excellent drink for the freezing winter’s afternoon that I was there. I paired this with an almond croissant, complete with a crunchy shell, lots of almonds and a great patisserie cream filling.
I wanted to see what the coffee tasted like, so I tried the house-blend, Irving Farm’s Blackstrap espresso. It had an amazing, mottled crema and the first sip was gorgeous. It was very much a front-of-the-mouth, tip-of-the-tongue taste sensation, and was slightly sourer than the majority of espresso I’d had on the trip.
|181 HAVEMEYER STREET • BROOKLYN • NY 11211 • USA|
|Monday||07:00 – 19:00||Roaster||Irving Farm (espresso + bulk-brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 19:00||Seating||Tables, Benches, Bench outside|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 19:00||Food||Cake, Breakfast Burritos|
|Thursday||07:00 – 19:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 19:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 18:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: 6th March 2015
Update: 9th February 2016
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, check out the rest of New York City’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to New York City.
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