Welcome to the very first stop on my New York City Coffeehouse Tour, Darling Coffee!! Since I have decided to start from the very top of Manhattan and work my way down - the first several stops will be from the Inwood/Washington Heights & Harlem neighborhoods. There actually are very few coffeehouses in these neighborhoods - despite over half a million people living there!!
Located on Broadway between 207th & Isham Street, Darling Coffee has become a favorite spot for the diverse and family-oriented Inwood community. Upon entering this airy and open coffee house, the first thing I noticed was the mix of modern and traditional elements - dark painted ceilings, a large chalkboard painted wall menu, light wood paneling and eclectic light fixtures.
There were several menu items that caught my eye, including the Blue Bottle single-origin pour-over coffee, Plan de la Batea Alicia, and the flaky honey-butter biscuits. I also ordered a mocha and double espresso to try. The pour-over was highly palatable with a sweet earthy flavor and a smooth finish.
The biscuits were definitely a highlight - like a crispy Ritz cracker on the outside, with a rich buttery pillow-like interior, perfectly cut with the sweetness of the honey butter.
The double espresso, made with Blue Bottle espresso beans, began with a burst of tangy pine flavor followed by a sour fruit taste. The mocha was mildly sweet, highlighting the natural flavor of the cocoa and richness of the milk but with very little taste of the actual espresso, which made it the least favorite item I tried.
Blue Bottle Coffee Co. is a roasting company that started in California and now supplies quality coffee within 48 hours of roasting to several cafe's, carts and locations on both coasts. They have a local roastery in Brooklyn, which supplies coffee to many local coffee houses including, Darling Coffee.
Darling Coffee also serves Dallis Bros. coffee, however; at this particular visit I didn't sample it. They have quite an assortment of freshly baked goods - both sweet and savory, as well as a large selection of loose leaf teas. They offer free weekly Coffee Cuppings on Thursdays at 4pm - featuring coffee from a variety of different growing regions around the world.
Local art and photography hang on the minimally decorated walls, and are available for purchase. The large and open space is great for community events with several tables to accommodate those who wish to sit and work. Free wi-fi is available. During my visit, I noticed there was no music playing, just the background sounds of the baristas preparing drinks and orders.
I really enjoyed my visit to Darling Coffee and look forward to visiting again soon. Owners Nick & Nichole should be very proud of their efforts to bring a quality coffeehouse to a greatly under served community!
The search for the best coffee in New York City continues next week with:
The Chipped Cup in Harlem.