Sorry its been so long since my last post. The first draft of my thesis is due in less than 2 weeks!! So I haven't had much time for bubble tea unfortunately :( ...but I have been drinking a lot of coffee.
As a grad student living in NYC, cheap good coffee is a must. I'm not talking about Starbucks, I'm talking about REAL coffee that is actually good. I have spent several of my formative years working as a barista. So I have had a lot of bad coffee and a lot of good coffee. More importantly I know what I like.
The best tip is to stay away from chains, especially ones where you can't even find out where your coffee beans are coming from. In fact the only one of these chains which I approve of is the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Although this chain can only be found on the West Coast or Hawaii, they have a huge selection of coffee and teas. You can even decide what region of the world you would like your coffee from.
Here are a few places I have found in NYC:
The Mud Truck
Outside of the uptown Astor Place subway stop, you can often find a bright orange truck. They have good strong coffee that is great for you if you're on the run. They also have a store location in the East Village.
Ground Support Cafe
In the heart of SoHo this is a small cafe with reasonable prices that even I can afford. They also have a food menu.
This place is near where I live in the Yorkville neighborhood in the UES. They serve Kona coffee here which is in my opinion one of the best. They also have excellent Choux pastries, breakfast food, and sandwiches. While their food is not as good as their coffee, I don't know where else in NYC to find Kona coffee.
This place is my absolute favorite in NYC. It is a Japanese Bakery that has amazing pastries and onigiri. I have actually never had their coffee here because they have so many other tea based drinks. I recommend the green tea latte, Thai tea, or yuzu tea.
Hopefully I'll have more soon...
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf now has locations in NYC. Although the ones in NY I found of lesser quality than the ones I've been to in Hawaii. They didn't have as many options and the prices were much higher. Also the NYC customer service is inferior. Why has NY ruined an excellent chain?! Don't let the Coffee Bean's NYC locations taint your impression of this chain, try it on the West Coast, but hopefully their new locations will improve.