While not the latest to join the list of New York’s small, interesting cafés, we have it on good authority that gourmet coffee roaster Café Grumpy is one of the best. Located in Grand Central Terminal, the café’s design, by Architecture Durusoy, maximizes the café’s coveted location in one of the busiest railway terminals in the world using a standing bar allowing commuters to enjoy espresso, brewed coffee and locally-sourced pastries. Here, Roger Smith intern Jordi Casals, a Barcelona-native, goes for what he says is the best coffee in New York.
While large coffees are more popular in America, Europeans tend to like stronger shots of espresso, strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans
Espresso at Café Grumpy is pressed using high-quality Synesso espresso machines, meaning the strong and bitter stuff—no sugar or milk needed—is among the best in Midtown Manhattan.
Jordi gives us a breakdown of what type of coffee to order throughout the day:
Morning: coffee with milk
The most popular breakfast coffee in Spain and throughout Europe is café con leche, a blend of espresso and milk in equal portions. It’s sometimes called a cortado from the Spanish verb meaning ‘to cut’ as the espresso is cut, or diluted, with milk to make the drink sweeter.
Noon: shot of espresso
A single shot of espresso, café solo, is most commonly ordered as a pick-me-up after a big lunch. The Spanish call it ‘just coffee’ for a reason: they don’t add milk or sugar, and neither should you.
Afternoon: iced coffee
During the warmer months, espresso can be put on ice. In Spain, a café con hielo is espresso served hot with a separate glass of ice. Once the espresso cools, it’s poured onto the ice.
Evening: a shot of espresso with brandy or rum
For a 21+ spin on coffee in America, try a carajillo, a shot of espresso with half a shot of brandy or rum.
Staying at Roger Smith? Head to Café Grumpy at 89 E 42nd St, just 7 minutes’ walk from the hotel.
Faces of Roger Smith: Jordi Casals
A native of Barcelona, Jordi came to New York to be a Hotel Management Trainee at Roger Smith Hotel. When he’s not working in hospitality (he’s worked for the Hilton London Metropole and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts in Mallorca) he’s drinking at least four shots of espresso daily.