My Mondays always start with me editing pictures from the previous week and deciding which of them will make good food posts. But this morning I found myself looking at a bunch of Instagram pictures I took this weekend and my favorite ones are all of New York City as it charges head-on into spring. Thought I’d share them with you here in a post that has nothing to do with food except for the picture of coffee.
I hate repeating myself on my blog, so if you’ve been reading for me a while, you know that Joe is my favorite coffee shop in New York. The location on Waverly is where I wrote my first book and most of my second; it’s where I’d meet friends to chat about projects or lives, it’s where I first laid eyes on Craig before we started dating. The place positively glows with good energy and the coffee is always top-notch, some might say (and I’d agree with them) the best in town.
Now Jonathan Rubinstein and his sister Gabrielle have collaborated with food writer Judith Choate on “Joe: The Coffee Book,” a charming collection of essays and pictures and how-tos that demystifies the process of making excellent coffee at home. What follows is a Q&A with Jonathan about the book, the process of writing it, and how he stays relevant in a city swarming with new coffee shops.
Back To Our Favorite N.Y. Haunts (Joe, Joseph Leonard, Bar Centrale, City Bakery, Grand Sichuan & The Burger Joint)
I took a tumble outside of Joe on Waverly, the coffee shop that was a second home to me all those years that I lived in the big city. It was kind of embarrassing: rain was beating down, Craig ran inside the front door, and as I approached the first step, I totally slipped on the wet pavement and crashed down on my knee, slicing my jeans open and tearing the skin. I got myself up as quickly as I could but it was one of those disorienting experiences that made me feel like I was a stranger on my old turf: only a tourist slips on a wet New York City sidewalk.
Following my coffee trials on this blog must be like having a petulant four year-old child who wants soup then wants pizza then wants soup again and so on.
See, at first I told you not to worry about grinding your beans fresh in my post: “How To Make a Good Cup of Coffee.” Then Amanda Byron, director of coffee at my favorite coffee shop in New York, Joe, held an intervention (see here) where she told me I was crazy not to grind my beans fresh. I ignored her but felt guilty as time wore on.
Food journalists notice food trends—“this is the year of the nutmeg martini!” “oatmeal’s out, grits are back in”–and I’m not a food journalist, so I feel like I get a free pass on that front. I just cook, blog and eat (not always in that order) and go about my merry way.
But last year, I thought I noticed a food trend creeping up at the coffee shops I frequented. I noticed it at Joe, then I noticed it at Gorilla. They were these little copper stands with white ceramic objects sitting on top that looked like a cross between a coffee mug and a funnel. Had it really happened? Had I hit upon a food trend?
Amanda Byron, one of my favorite baristas at my favorite coffee shop, Joe (don’t call it “Joe The Art of Coffee”!) had some strong words for me today about my post yesterday on How To Make a Good Cup of Coffee: