There was a time when great coffee was rather hard to find in Midtown Manhattan, but that’s all changed! Visiting New York City last September, I stayed on 26th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue in Midtown, where there were at least 10 speciality coffee shops within a few blocks. Today’s Coffee Spot, East One Coffee Roasters, was one of several options on my way to the office, its evening opening hours allowing me pop in after work as well.
East One bucks the trend of small Midtown coffee shops, occupying a large spot on the corner of 7th Avenue and 23rd Street, right next to the 23rd St metro station. There’s a row of tables outside on the busy 23rd Street, while inside, multiple seating areas offer a variety of tables, benches and bars. The coffee is roasted at East One’s Court Street coffee shop and eatery in Brooklyn, with a single-origin on espresso and another on batch brew. The options change on a regular basis and there’s a small selection of retail bags of coffee available to buy. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, the brunch menu’s available until 3 o’clock, backed up with a selection of cake throughout the day.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
This is the second of two locations for East One, following the flagship roastery/coffee shop in Brooklyn. Although it only opened in 2019, the Coffee Spot has a long history with East One. Tom, East One’s founder, was also behind two ground-breaking London coffee shops, FreeState Coffee (now long since gone) and New Row Coffee (now part of the Espresso Room group). I wrote about FreeState Coffee back in 2013, not long after it opened, and although the décor is quite different, there’s quite a bit about East One that reminded me of FreeState.
Occupying a large spot on the corner of 7th Avenue and 23rd Street, East One has a row of four tables along the busy 23rd Street, a rope strung between waist-high metal pillars separating the tables from the passing pedestrians. The door is on the corner, at 45° to both 23rd Street and 7th Avenue, where there’s a second door towards the back of East One.
Stepping inside, the counter is on the left, set well back from the windows which run all the way across the front of East One, as well as down the right-hand side, resulting in a very bright, airy space. The seating is arranged along the windows, starting to the left of the door with a pair of low-slung armchairs. These are followed by an L-shaped bench with four two-person tables in the windows and two more down the left-hand side, the bench ending at the counter.
There’s more seating to the right of the door, starting with a series of multi-part benches with built-in coffee tables and low stools. The first of these starts to the right of the door, runs a short way along the windows down 7th Avenue, then cuts back into East One to end at a small takeaway station/retail section opposite the start of the counter. There’s another bench on the other side, then a standalone table, seating provided by tall stools, before a final bench on the other side of the table, which faces towards the front of East One.
The last of the seating is in the back, right-hand corner. There’s a two-person bar on the rear side of the final bench, then comes the door to 7th Avenue before a narrow alcove, maybe one third of the width of East One, houses a final pair of two-person tables.
I visited on three separate occasions, the first on Monday morning when I got my day underway with a cortado made with the Nano Genji, a washed coffee from Ethiopia. This was really interesting in milk, the coffee’s sweet, fruity flavours combining well with the milk. These flavours were even more apparent when I tried it on its own as an espresso.
I had the Nano Genji again in a cappuccino in my HuskeeCup, but when I returned on Thursday evening, it had been replaced with the Gatugi, a naturally-processed Kenyan coffee which I tried as an espresso. This was a very different and very interesting coffee, with a much deeper flavour, although not at all what I was expecting from a naturally-processed coffee. While I liked it, I have to say that I preferred the Nano Genji. The next time I’m in New York, I’ll have to try to visit the roastery in Brooklyn.
|170 W 23RD STREET • NEW YORK CITY • NY 10011 • USA|
|www.eastonecoffee.com||+1 646 649 3624|
|Monday||07:00 – 19:00||Roaster||East One (espresso + batch brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 19:00||Seating||Tables, Benches, Bar; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 19:00||Food||Brunch (until 15:00), Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 19:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 19:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 19:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 19:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||26th, 28th, 29th September 2022|
If you liked this Coffee Spot, then 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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