Whether you’re looking for the perfect cup of coffee or just a place to unwind, you won’t have to search very hard in Long Island City. And if you live at the CORTE LIC condos, you’ll be surrounded by endless options. While we’ve come to expect carefully selected beans, perfect roasts, and baristas whose every pull is an homage to their craft, the best coffeehouses will also offer a special something that sets them apart from the rest. Not far from the LIC luxury condos at CORTE, you’ll find the 51st Bakery & Cafe, Sweetleaf, Partners Coffee Roasters, and Communitea. With something to please everyone who loves the rich, dark, aromatic brew (or a tea leaf or two), these four spots are “can’t miss” selections.
There’s certainly a science to good coffee. From the soil and climate of its origins all the way to the vessel in which the finished product is served, the elements of good coffee are variables that can be affected in any number of ways. But knowing this can only take you so far. Sweetleaf understands that it’s the interplay between the science and the art of coffee making that brings it all together. They employ “data, metrics and a systematic production process for maximum consistency” but never ignore the fundamentals — chiefly, what tastes good and how it makes you feel. So, while you’re guaranteed the perfect pull every time due to Sweetleaf’s use of refractometers and espresso machines calibrated by the latest software, the shop’s devotion to excellent coffee means that they’re reperfecting the perfect almost every day in ways that are sure to please your taste buds. Charts and graphs aside, the proof is in the cup. One sip, and you’ll recognize that the people at Sweetleaf know exactly what they’re doing.
While it’s java that makes our world go ‘round, one also has to eat. For a shop offering the best of both food and caffeinated bliss, make your way to 51st Bakery & Cafe. There, you’ll find proprietor, chef, and culinary teacher Faye Hess, who procures her ingredients and selections from some of the city’s finest merchants. The coffees she serves are provided by the master roasters at Devoción in Williamsburg; the cured meats and cheeses come from Murray’s Cheese in Greenwich Village, and all the breads and pastries are baked daily at the famed Balthazar Bakery in SoHo. Together, these form the basis for a simple but inspired breakfast and lunch menu. A prime example of the quality at 51st Bakery & Cafe is their chocolate chip cookie: one that they boast may be the best in the city. Try it, and you just might agree.
Just one block from the Court Square subway, Partners Coffee Roasters can be found on the site of a former artist studio and family residence. There’s a warmth to the location, likely due to the manicured courtyard, but it still harkens back to LIC’s industrial heritage. It’s a comfortable spot to experience their grand rotation of single-origin coffees or grab a spot of breakfast or lunch, much of which can be made gluten-free with their use of breads from the local Free Bread. Or add a sumptuous baked good to your espresso or latte order with selections from Supermoon Bakehouse, King Street Baking Co., and Ovenly. Cozy, comfy, and tasty. Check, check, and check.
Of course, the tradition of the coffeehouse isn’t limited to just coffee and food. Tea is a major component of the modern scene. The selection of loose-leaf teas at Communitea is the biggest in the area and quite possibly the best. In addition, Communitea offers filling comfort food and delectable homemade baked goods, as well as local draft beers and wines. The drink menu even includes some ciders. And, as their name implies, the shop strives to foster a tradition in coffeehouse culture 10 centuries in the making: building community. At Communitea, you’ll find an easygoing vibe — one with a Gossip Girl trivia connection — that beckons you to sit and enjoy the company of the folks in your neighborhood. Homey, local, inviting — these are all apt descriptions of this friendly shop, and we’re glad to have it nearby.
Long Island City encompasses a compelling variety of options for coffee connoisseurs and tea lover alike. With so many unique takes on classic favorites prepared with superior ingredients by master of the trade, you can chill with friends, catch a buzz from the perfect espresso, or indulge your sweet tooth.
Once you’ve sampled one of these LIC treats, please join us for a private tour of one of our homes at CORTE.
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