19 Comments January 01, 2012

Favorite Espresso of 2011

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A Collective Post of Multiple Locations 

In 2011, the growth of third wave coffee shops exploded. Tokyo was particularly interesting, where a newly developed taste for great coffee started to compete with its thousand-year-old tea culture. New York, likely the city with the most third wave shops in the country, saw a large delivery of sophisticated La Marzocco machinery enabling baristi to control espresso extraction in ways not before possible. This was not only a great year for food, but for coffee as well.

As most baristi will agree, coffee is temperamental. The hardest part of the extraction process is consistency. A great espresso comes with no guarantee of one just as good the next. It is imposible to name a single shop with the most consistently good espresso, because there is no such thing as consistently good espresso. It is only possible to share where and when all the variables, ranging from the barista to the weather, aligned to create an incredible extraction.

7 Comments April 02, 2009

Di Fara

1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY

New Yorkers take their pizza seriously. Perhaps that’s because of New York’s Italian roots, considering 30% of Italy immigrated to New York at the turn of the 20th century. The majority of these immigrants emigrated from the south, from areas such as Naples and Sicily, carrying with them recipes, traditions, and skill to turn mere flour and water into one of the most delicious foods ever created. It is no coincidence, then, that New York has been labeled by many as the pizza capital of the world. But is it really?

Truth be told, a visitor to America’s pizza home may not feel the same way. While great pizza in this city can be found, the majority of pizzerias serve mass-produced pies lacking any sort of character or flavor. With the viral growth of chains like Sbarro, Famiglia, and “CPK,” most of the city’s great pizza has moved from an Italian artisan craft to the product of a big city assembly line. A relatively mundane mix of ingredients, in theory, pizza should be simple. But simple ingredients lend to complex preparation intricacies that, if left to the wrong hands, can result in a pizza that tastes terrible. Let alone soulless. A lack of skill, care and quality ingredients can lead to soggy crust, excessively salty cheese, oily residue, and a frown. Great pizza is no easy task.