Sunday, May 16, 2010

New York coffee break: La Colombe Torrefaction

Coffee is unashamedly the focus in the streamlined and minimalist La Colombe Torrefaction store in SoHo. There's no merchandise and little branding - just slick walls that point customers towards the coffee counter. As owners Todd Carmichael and Jean-Philippe Iberti point out on their website: "[We have] an unapologetic devotion to tradition not trend - a place where taste always trumps novelty."

La Colombe Torrefaction is a coffee roasting company based in Philadelphia, with a focus on medium and dark roasts. There are two outlets in New York: one in Lafayette St, SoHo, and the other in Church St, TriBeCa.

In the SoHo store, there are a few seats along one wall but most of the traffic is for take-away. A lot of customers were opting for a coffee that seemed a strange concoction to our eyes: a tall plastic glass filled with black coffee that is topped up with milk and lots of sugar sachets by the customer. We opted for cafe lattes, which were well-made and creamy, although the coffee was surprisingly light for a medium-to-dark roast and is perhaps more suited to an espresso than a milk-based coffee. This area of SoHo seemed a little quieter to us than the areas between West Broadway and Broadway streets, but it is worth seeking out this little shop, especially if you are in the area visiting Balthazar's or the MOMA Design Shop.

La Colombe Torrefaction
270 Lafayette Street (Prince Street), SoHo

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