Terremoto Coffee

The Terremoto Coffee logo, taken from the A-board outside the coffee shop on W 15th Street in New York.I’m indebted to Bex of Double Skinny Macchiato (and her excellent New York Speciality Coffee Map) for the heads-up on today’s Coffee Spot, Terremoto Coffee. Amanda and I were in New York City for less than 24 hours, en-route from Portland (Maine) to Atlanta. Other than quick stops at Café Grumpy in both the Fashion District and Chelsea, we only had time for one prolonged stop, which was at Terremoto.

There’s not much to Terremoto, just a bench outside and three small tables inside, but size is no limit to its ambition when it comes to coffee. Its most eye-catching feature is the gold Slayer espresso machine, but the real star is the coffee itself. Terremoto serves a wide selection of single-origins on both espresso and pour-over (Kalita Wave), one of which is also available on batch brew, plus there’s a small selection of cakes and pastries if you are hungry.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • In a terrace of red brick houses on W 15th St in Chelsea, New York, stands...
  • ... Terremoto Coffee. There's a handy sign to get your attention from down the street...
  • ... and an A-board as you walk past, but it's very much a blink-and-miss-it place.
  • The full extent of Terremoto Coffee, as seen head on.
  • A pair of benches, arranged in an L-shape, provides the only outdoor seating.
  • New menu board coming soon! In the meantime, buy better coffee! Can't argue with that.
  • The door is to the right of the menu board. Let's go in, shall we?
  • The view from just inside the door. Terremoto is really small!
  • The counter is at the back, stretching the full width of Terremoto.
  • A solitary bench against the right-hand wall is very much seating of last resort since...
  • ... you're in the way if anyone comes in. Useful when waiting for takeaway coffee though.
  • The black and gold design on the wall behind the bench is worth checking out.
  • The main seating is on the left, where three two-person tables stretch from the window...
  • ... to the counter, with a gorgeous exposed brick wall behind them.
  • The oil painting on the wall is for sale, by the way.
  • Down to business. This is the view as you approach the counter from the door.
  • You order on the right, where you'll find the till...
  • ... above the display case for the pastries and cakes.
  • The menu is off to the side, on the wall to the left of the counter...
  • ... although the choice of beans is directly ahead of you. And what a choice it is!
  • Some of the bags of coffee are on the counter top by the till.
  • The Martir, a washed Colombia, is available all year, while the other coffees are seasonal.
  • There's plenty of choice, although this one caught our eye: a rare Eugenioides.
  • Naturally we had to try it, starting with a pour-over...
  • ... which is prepared in a dedicated filter area behind the counter.
  • Our coffee, served on a metal tray in a gorgeous handleless cup.
  • Next we put the golden Slayer espresso machine through its paces...
  • ... first ordering the Eugenioides as an espresso, served with a glass of sparkling water...
  • ... before finishing up with the same coffee in a cortado, which is where we'll leave you.
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Terremoto Coffee, which opened in 2016, is on West 15th Street, half a block from Chelsea Market and close to Chelsea’s southern border with the West Village. Amanda and I called in on Sunday morning before catching our train to Atlanta that afternoon. Terremoto (Italian for “earthquake” if you were wondering) is one of those blink-and-you-miss-it places, on the ground floor of a row of red-brick houses on the street’s southern side. There’s an A-board to catch the eye, and a sign which you can see from a little way down the street, but if you’re not paying attention, you could easily walk past.

The narrow door is on the right, with an equally narrow window on the left, while outside there’s a pair of benches arranged in an L-shape: one under the window, the other alongside the steps of the neighbouring house to the left. Inside, a bench runs along the right-hand wall, while three, square two-person tables run along the exposed-brick of the left-hand wall from window to counter.

The counter, at the back, runs the width of Terremoto with the till directly opposite the door, a glass display case for the pastries built into the counter beneath it. The famous gold Slayer (the only one in America that I know of) is off to the left, while the menu is beyond that on the left-hand wall. The choice of beans, on the other hand, is on a narrow pillar behind the counter, next to the filter set-up.

The coffee’s all from Neat, a roaster/importer in Darien, Connecticut, which only deals in single-origins. During our visit, Terremoto had four single-origins on espresso, with the same four on pour-over, joined by a washed Honduran which was also on batch brew. All the coffees are seasonal, except the Mártir, a washed Colombian single-origin, which is present year-round. Roasted by Neat’s sister company, Osito, it comes from a farm owned by relatives of Terremoto’s owners.

Normally, I’d have made a beeline for it, but our barista told us about the Eugenioides, a naturally-processed coffee from Las Nubes in Colombia. This is a rare species of coffee (ie it’s not Arabica) so Amanda and I instantly wanted to try it! We ended up having it as a pour-over, an espresso and with milk in a cortado.

It’s at this point that I normally tell you all about it, but there’s so much I want to say that I’ve dedicated a whole Saturday Supplement to it, where you can find out what Amanda and I made of it.

In closing, let me just say that we really enjoyed our visit to Terremoto, which is highly recommended whether or not you try the Eugenioides.

328 W 15TH STREET • NEW YORK CITY • NY 10011 • USA
www.terremotocoffee.com +1 212-243-4300
Monday 07:00 – 18:00 Roaster Neat (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Bench; Bench (outside)
Wednesday 07:00 – 18:00 Food Cakes
Thursday 07:00 – 18:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 18:00 Payment Cash + Cards
Saturday 08:00 – 18:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 08:00 – 18:00 Power No
Chain No Visits 8th March 2020

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to New York City for more great Coffee Spots.

For a different take on Terremoto, see what Bex made of it when she visited in 2017.

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