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New York’s Best Iced Coffee

080619_coffee2 copy.jpgMost New Yorkers need their daily dose of caffeine, and nowadays there’s so many different drinks to wake us up. But in the summer, that blue & white paper cup of piping hot coffee is too much to bear on a scorching summer day.  This is high season for iced coffee.  The city has a slew of shops that raise the classic iced coffee to new heights. Our favorite newcomers & go-to spots roast internationally sourced beans, use the latest brewing gadgets and even make an espresso-laced drink out of horchata, one of Latin America’s favorite sweet beverages.

Stumptown Coffee
Address: 18 West 29th St., btwn. Broadway & Fifth Ave.
Phone: (212) 679-2222

Stumptown is artisanal coffee at its finest.  This West Coast roaster opened its first New York outpost in the Ace Hotel last year and quickly gained a following of coffee connoisseurs & addicts who admire the skilled baristas and premier ingredients.  Stumptown sources its high quality beans from farms in three continents — South America, Africa and Asia.  Owner Duane Sorenson wouldn’t have it any other way; his mission is to showcase a variety of  beans with a unusual flavors.  The menu at Stumpton features macchiaotos and cappuccinos, but there’s nothing more satisfying on a hot summer day than the house blend iced coffee.  It’s deliciously complex — a little sweet, a little nutty, slightly chocolatey and delicious.

Roasting Plant
Address: (Two Locations) 81 Orchard St. btwn. Broome & Grand streets; 75 Greenwich Ave nr. 7th Ave South.
Phone: (212) 775-7755 & (212) 775-7755

Who would have thought cutting-edge technology and coffee would go so well together?  That’s exactly what makes Roasting Plant so unique.  Both downtown shops are run by Mike Caswell, a former engineer, who designed a machine that roasts, grinds and brews customized coffee-to-order.  This all-in-one method makes for the ultimate iced coffee experience.  And though it’s far from high tech, complement your drink with one of Roasting Plant’s awesome chocolate chip cookies.

Mud Coffee
Address: 307 East 9th St. near 2nd Ave
(212) 228-9074

Mud Coffee is a tried-and-true grassroots coffee
company.  What started as a husband & wife truck business has
evolved into a full-fledged East Village eatery that features a full
breakfast and lunch menu.  But the coffee is still the real draw,
especially the iced mocha and iced caramel cappuccino are two of our
favorites.  And when we’re in the mood for something really different,
there’s a standout mint mochaccino.

Joe The Art of Coffee
Address: (Three locations) 514 Columbus Ave. nr. 85th St.; 141 Waverly Place nr. 6th Ave.; & 9 East 13th St., nr. 6th Ave., 405 West 23rd St. near 9th Ave.
Phone: 212-875-0100; (212) 924-6750; (212) 924-7400; & (212) 206-0669
Skip the Starbuck’s frappuccino and opt for an espresso granita from Joe instead. The blend is pretty simple — just espresso, sugar, milk, and ice — but surprisingly decadent, especially with a dollop of whipped cream. This one is more than just a sugar rush: The beans are from Ecco Cafe, a lauded roaster, that produces beans with a smooth finish.

Cafe Grumpy
Address: (Three locations) 224 West 20th St. btwn. 7th & 8th avenues; 383 7th Ave., btwn.11th & 12th Sts. (Brooklyn,); & 193 Meserole Ave., at Diamond St. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (212) 255-5511, (718) 499-4404, (718) 349 -7623

It made headlines for its scandalously priced $12 cup of coffee, but Cafe Grumpy is far from outlandish.  In fact, most of the offerings are less than $10 and excellent.  Ground in-house, the iced coffee gets its fragrant smell and flavor from a blend of Guatemalan and Costa Rican cacao beans.  And the best part is, it’s only $4.25 — twice the price of a deli iced coffee, but a steal considering the attention to each drink and the sky high cost of a Café Grumpy cup of hot coffee.

Zibetto Espresso Bar
Address: 102 Fulton St., nr. Williams Street; 1385 6th Ave near 56th St.
Phone: (917) 388-2789

Zibetto owner & native of Sweden, Anastasio Nougos, is super serious about his espresso.  He trains every barista for two months before they’re allowed to make a cup for the long line of customers that often trail outside the door. Zibetto’s must-try cold beverage is the “caffe shakerato,” made by shaking up a mixture of espresso, sugar and ice then straining it with a flourish into a glass.  It’s chilled, caffeinated perfection.

Think Coffee
Address: (Three locations) 248 Mercer St. btwn. 3rd & 4th streets; 1 Bleecker St., nr. Bowery; 123 4th Ave., btwn. 12th & 12th Sts.
Phone: (212) 228-6226; )(212) 533-3366; & (212) 614-6644

Situated right near NYU, this spot is a godsend for students studying for exams.   What sets Think apart is that it exclusively uses organic, fair-trade beans, so caffeine addicts can actually feel good about their coffee addictions. Their iced coffee is “cold-brew” instead of chilled, so it doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste, unlike when you simply chill hot coffee. Think has got the cold-brew technique down pat, and its iced coffee has hints of chocolate and caramel as a result. There’s plenty of sofas in the lofty space to kick back and enjoy your icy brew.

Crop to Cup Cafe
Address: 139 Atlantic Ave., btwn. Clinton & Henry streets
No phone yet

Not many coffee shops will sell you the couch you’re sitting on.  This one-of-a-kind shop in Brooklyn Heights also functions as an antique store that sells chairs, tables and other vintage furniture.  While you’re browsing the merchandise, try an iced latte or an iced espresso horchata, a rare treat for caffeine-crazy New Yorkers.  Made from rice, milk and cinnamon, horchata is a traditional Latin American drink that happens to taste delicious with a shot of espresso  That will definitely get you off to a sweet start first thing in the morning.

Dunkin’ Donuts
Sure, it’s a chain, but after sixty years in business, Dunkin’ Donuts still serves a reliable iced coffee.  Since 1950, they’ve been using the same blend.  The original blend has enough flavor for us, but if you want something a little sweeter, the vanilla & mocha-flavored iced coffees are both good too.

Gorilla Coffee
Address: 97 5th Ave. near Park Pl. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 230-3244

This Park Slope shop takes the concept of “a strong cup of coffee” to a new level.  Gorilla Coffee roasts all of its beans by hand everyday and the result is a full-bodied cup.  Their espresso is full-bodied, not too bitter, yet still has a subtle kick to it.  Come summer, we make a habit of the iced latte. There are several types to choose from, but the iced maple latte is unique and excellent.


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