Last week, Grub Street put up a list of 13 creative iced coffees around NYC to try this summer—and I’ve made it my mission to complete this challenge. I positively adore iced coffee, which I drink all year long, most recently the New Orleans–style Grady’s Cold Brew that I’ve been making at home. I’ve been obsessed for a month or two, ever since my local natural market started carrying it (only $9.79, way below its MSRP of $12), though I did have to inquire tonight about why I haven’t seen it on shelves lately (sob). It’s way better than brewing hot Lavazza before I go to bed and drinking it cold the morning after, and still cheaper than buying individual iced coffees on the go (which, uh, I still do anyway).
Anyhow, I’m typically opposed to spending an exorbitant amount on froufrou coffee-flavored drinks, but I figure this isn’t an absurd Starbucks order and these beverages seem unique (and delicious) enough. My first pick was something from Sweetleaf LIC:
The drink? Voodoo Child: Vietnamese-style cold brew with condensed milk and homemade vanilla sweet cream. I’m not really sure what “Vietnamese-style” means (I’m guessing condensed milk, which is the main ingredient in Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee) but it was really yummy, though I daresay I may prefer Sweetleaf’s signature Rocket Fuel. The first time I drank it, I kept exclaiming, “This is so good. This is SO GOOD!” after every single sip—and I mean every sip. (Apparently I’m a sucker for chicory.)
I’d also ordered a chocolate almond croissant, and while it was really tasty, I sort of feel about croissants the way I do about pizza: Usually they’re a lot better naked than adorned with any accoutrements:
The café? Sweetleaf LIC (10-93 Jackson Ave). It’s located literally steps away from the Pulaski Bridge (my friend used to walk over constantly when she lived in Greenpoint) but it’s a bit hard to access if you don’t live around there (the G and the 7 are the closest subway options, sigh, but I usually walk from the E).
The actual café is adorable: plush chairs, a long table (I mean, free wireless), a record room in the back where I’ve never had trouble getting a seat (though I’ve only been at odd times), and best of all: an immaculately maintained restroom (!). I went this past Thursday around 11:30am during my funemployed week and, as always when I’m out on a weekday, I wondered why the heck everybody else was there. Were they all funemployed too? Initially I was alone in the record room but was soon joined by two duos: One was a pair of friends catching up, and the other was either an unprofessional job interview or a very boring first date, I couldn’t tell.
Yea or nay? Yea, especially for its (sadly) reasonable-for-NYC price. Though I wonder whether I got the “to-go” plastic version; the Voodoo Child is too delicious to be served in such a basic cup.