Paper Coffee

An espresso, served in a classic white cup.We’re back in New York City with today’s Coffee Spot, another recommendation from my friend and fellow coffee blogger, Bex. Paper Coffee is one of several speciality coffee shops within a few blocks of my midtown hotel, where I stayed during my visit in September last year, although ironically it’s in the lobby of another hotel, Made Hotel, on W 29th Street.

Although very much part of the hotel, Paper Coffee operates as a standalone coffee shop with a counter and its own seating at the front of the lobby. However, you’re very welcome to take your coffee and sit anywhere in the lobby, including at the bar in the back, where you’ll find some sofas and armchairs. There’s also a patio upstairs, but that’s only for hotel guests.

Paper currently uses Variety Coffee Roasters from Brooklyn, with a single-origin and decaf on espresso and another single-origin on batch-brew filter, the specific options changing every two weeks. There’s also tea, beer (in cans) and a selection of wine available from the counter, while from 5pm each day, the lobby bar is also open and serving. Finally, if you’re hungry, there’s a small range of grab-and-go sandwiches, plus cakes and pastries.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Made Hotel on W29th Street in New York City.
  • Like many of the buildings in the neighbourhood, it goes a long way up, although we're...
  • ... interested in what's on the ground floor, as indicated by the A-board. The door on...
  • ... the left leads into a long corridor which heads towards the back of the Made Hotel...
  • ... lobby, where you check in on the left. However, we're not going that far. Instead...
  • ... look to the right and you'll see our destination through the windows. It's Paper Coffee!
  • Turn back on yourself at the end of the corridor and there it is.
  • Paper Coffee occupies the front of the lobby, with the counter on the left...
  • ... and the bulk of the seating along the windows at the front. There's one table on the...
  • ... left and two more (one out of shot here) on the right.
  • The only other seating (in this part of the lobby) are these two chairs at the table's end.
  • There is more, but before we go, let's take a look at the lighting.
  • I was taken by these lights hanging down in the middle of the ceiling...
  • ... but even more atmospheric (in my opinion) are the single lamps against the walls.
  • Last one.
  • If you can't (or don't want to) sit at the front, you can take your coffee to the back...
  • ... where you'll find plenty more seating past the elevators/check-in desk.
  • There's another of these tables behind the central pillar, with plenty more seating...
  • ... including at the lobby bar, which is at the back on the right.
  • Returning to the counter, you order at the left-hand end.
  • You'll find the menus here on the table to your right.
  • The coffee menu in more detail.
  • Cakes, pastries and grab-and-go sandwiches are on the counter...
  • ... with a limited selection of sandwiches, which you can also have to eat in.
  • The counter, in all its glory. The coffee, by the way, is all from Variety Coffee in Brooklyn.
  • This was the filter choice during my visit, a Kolla Bolcha from Ethiopia...
  • ... while espresso was at the other end, where you collect your coffee.
  • There's a single-origin and decaf on espresso...
  • ... with the Torera from Honduras in the hopper during my visit.
  • I had this as an espresso, served in a classic white cup...
  • ... which is where I'll leave you.
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From the outside, there’s very little to indicate the presence of Paper Coffee, just a simple A-board on the side of the street. Granted, it doesn’t help that the front of Made Hotel was hidden behind scaffolding during my visit, but even so, it’s one of those places where it helps to know it’s there. Access is via the door on the left, which opens onto a broad corridor. This leads back towards the hotel check-in desk (which is on your left), while Paper Coffee is visible through the windows that line the right-hand side of the corridor.

Doubling back on yourself at the end of the corridor, you’ll find Paper ahead of you, occupying the front part of the lobby. Three tables run along a pair of padded sofa-benches in the windows at the front, two on the right, one on the left (looking towards the front). The counter, meanwhile, is against the left-hand wall, fronted by a large, rectangular table with just two chairs at the right-hand end. I believe that this used to have more chairs, but I suspect they’ve been removed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s it for seating in the front part of the lobby, resulting in a small, cosy space. Even though you’re next to the counter with the constant coming and going of customers, I found it very quiet and relaxed here, an oasis of calm in the bustle of midtown New York City. However, if you can’t find a seat, you can always take your coffee to the back of the lobby.

There’s plenty more seating here, past the elevators on your right and the check-in desk on your left. This includes a pair of long, rectangular tables with stools running front-to-back, one either side of a central pillar. Either side of these tables, low armchairs and sofas are arranged around equally low coffee tables. Finally, there’s the lobby bar right at the back, complete with wood panelling and a line of tall bar chairs. This opens at five o’clock each afternoon, serving a full range of drinks, but you’re welcome to sit here with your coffee any time of the day. The one place you’re not allowed (unless you are staying at the hotel) is through the doors on the left, which lead to the patio.

Returning to Paper Coffee, you order from the left-hand side of the counter, where you’ll find the menus on the table to your right, along with the selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries on the counter itself. You collect your coffee from the far end of the counter on the right, which requires a trip around to the other side of the table, a neat trick that keeps customers waiting for their coffee separate from those queuing to order.

Paper Coffee has a simple, espresso-based menu, plus batch-brew filter and cold brew. While I was there, the Kolla Bolcha from Ethiopia was on batch brew and the Torera from Honduras on espresso, both roasted by Variety Coffee Roasters. I decided to have the Torera as an espresso, which proved to be a nice, well-balanced shot with a pleasing touch of acidity, the ideal way to spend a few quiet moments away from the bustle of New York before resuming my afternoon’s exploration.

MADE HOTEL • 44 W 29TH STREET • NEW YORK CITY • NY 10001 • USA +1 212 213 4429
Monday 07:00 – 18:00 Roaster Variety Coffee Roasters (espresso + batch brew)
Tuesday 07:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Counter, Sofas
Wednesday 07:00 – 18:00 Food Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 18:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 18:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:00 – 18:00 Wifi No
Sunday 07:00 – 18:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 24th September 2022

Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of New York City’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to New York City.

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