I discovered Gimme! Coffee on my first Coffee Spot visit to New York in 2013, when I visited the Mott Street branch in Manhattan. However, it took me another three years before I explored Gimme! Coffee’s Brooklyn heritage, when I visited Roebling Street in Williamsburg. Ironically, this is the newest of three New York City branches, having only opened in 2011, while the first (and other) Brooklyn branch has been around since 2003, the company itself starting in upstate New York in 2000.
Roebling Street has a simple, rectangular layout, with the door at the right, the counter at the back and a smattering of tables in the space between the two. Resisting the urge to cram too much in, it’s a quiet, friendly spot with a sense of space. There’s also some outdoor seating on the (relatively) quiet street.
Gimme! Coffee roasts all its own beans with a house-blend (Leftist), single-origin guest (Colombian) and decaf (another single-origin Colombian) on espresso. These are joined by two more single-origins on bulk-brew and third as a pour-over using the Kalita Wave. There’s also a range of teas from Metolius in Oregon and a selection of cakes and pastries if you are hungry.
January 2020: Roebling Street has closed, although I don’t know when. Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the remaining two NYC locations (Mott Street and Lorimer Street) have also closed for good, leaving Gimme! Coffee with no NYC presence. It will be sadly missed, although it’s still going strong in its hometown of Ithaca in upstate New York.
July 2022: Gimme! Coffee is now a cooperative and still going strong in Ithaca.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Gimme! Coffee is an interesting coffee shop/roaster chain, which started in Ithaca, in upstate New York, where it still has three branches (and a fourth in nearby Trumansburg). The coffee, I believe, is still roasted in upstate New York, but Gimme! Coffee also has three coffee shops in New York City, over 200 miles away.
The most recent of these, on Williamsburg’s Roebling Street, is set back a little, leaving a generous space in front of the store. This is occupied by a pair of two/three-person garden benches, one under the frosted-glass window and the other at right-angles to it on the left. Meanwhile, by the kerbside, there’s a box-seat around a tree, which is very reminiscent of Gimme! Coffee’s Mott Street branch, which is the only other one I’ve visited.
In comparison to Mott Street, Roebling Street is huge, but by any other standard, it’s still fairly small, with glass double-doors on the right giving entry to a simple interior. There are three connected chairs ahead of you against the right-hand wall, followed by a retail shelf. If you want to plug your laptop in, there’s plenty of power outlets here. The counter is at the back on the left, although it occupies about two-thirds of the width of the store, while the front of the store is actually a wall, with a multi-pained frosted-glass window at the top.
The area between the counter and window has the remaining seating, which amounts to a pair of four-person tables against the left-hand wall and a solitary two-person table in the middle of the floor. The resulting lack of clutter works well since it leaves a large space between the door and counter, so customers who are coming in and out for their takeaway coffee don’t disturb those at the tables. However, I suspect it could be a bit annoying for anyone in the three seats by the door, although these were most often used by people waiting for their coffee.
There’s a small corridor which leads past the counter on the right and gives access to the offices and a cupping room at the back, where public cuppings are held every Tuesday, between 2pm and 3pm. Of course, while it was a Tuesday, my timing was terrible as I arrived at four, which also meant I missed out on pour-over hour happy hour (3pm to 4 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays!).
Despite this, I decided to try the Colombian single-origin on the Kalita Wave (this was the same bean that was on the guest espresso, but I’d arrived too late in the day to try it). My barista employed an almost continuous pour technique, topping up the filter every 10-20 seconds, which is not something I had seen before with the Kalita Wave. The resulting coffee was quite strong with plenty of body, although I was hoping for a little more subtly in the flavour. However, if you’d like something different, then don’t worry: the various single-origins on offer change every two/three days.
Since it was late afternoon, irony demanded that I pair my coffee with a morning bun. Made of a tightly-wound spiral of springy bread dough, it was surprisingly savoury, with a cheesy (in a good way) flavour and a very chewy (also in a good way) texture.
|107 ROEBLING STREET • BROOKLYN • NY 11211 • USA|
|Monday||07:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Gimme! Coffee (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 18:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 18:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 18:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:30 – 19:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:30 – 19:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Regional||Visits||9th February 2016|
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