February 23, 2024

The sudden spring weather that’s forced crocus and daffodil into blooming all over NYC  isn’t the only reason to rejoice this week:  Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee Co. has finally flowered below-stairs along the Rockefeller Center concourse. The arrival of the Bay-area culti-roaster known for its devotional handling of single-origin beans is welcome news for Midtown, which despite an oppressively dense concentration of office drones has til now sported just a single coffee shop of note, the Swedish import Fika. (And more on that sliver of Nordic Nirvana in a future post.) Even more unexpected at yesterday’s opening was the noticeable lack of lines – though I expect that’s just an accident of calm before the storm. This is, after all, primo coffee – with primo prices to match. Yet it’s an altogether friendlier Blue Bottle, too: when my Yirgacheffe YCFCU pour-over managed to somehow fall through the counter’s antediluvian cracks, an adorable cap-clad barista apologized profusely, offering up cookies and a free beverage on my next visit.  At the hipper-than-thou Williamsburg outpost, I probably would have been upbraided for the inferiority of my boots before being forced to join the back of the line. Forget about letting the proletariat eat cake – let us drink coffee instead. Coffee revolution, welcome to Midtown.

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