Review: 2015 NY Coffee Festival at the 69th Regiment Armory Sun. Sept. 27, 2015

Event: Showcasing coffee, munchies, music entertainment and cocktails at the historical 69th Regiment Armory building on Lexington by Baruch College. A portion of the proceeds went to Project Waterfall. VIP tickets included access to the lectures and a complimentary cocktail.



Hommage to our brave soldiers

Hommage to our brave soldiers


Cafe Grumpy

Cappuccino by Cafe Grumpy

Bottom line: A nice event with loads to taste and enjoy, but why no tea for god’s sake??

Yes, that's a Starbucks.

Yep, that’s a Starbucks.

In need of caffeine jolt to recover from a sake-induced hangover, my mate and I tottled over to check out the NY Coffee Fest. We had a fantastic time tasting the samples and chatting with the vendors. To be honest, I’m not much of a coffee drinker so I was pretty pissed off that there was no tea going. Rebecca, a Brit who came via Toronto to help with organize the expo could offer no real explanation except that they thought Americans don’t drink tea! If the same event in London had tea, according to her, then why not here? After all, the Coffee & Tea expo in Greenpoint earlier in March was teeming with it! Americans don’t drink tea, I mean really!  {(>_<)}

Expresso martinis

Rich, decadent espresso martinis!

Anger aside, here’s some info about the people we met. At the 1st line booth, we enjoyed a unctuous coffee ice cream smoothie sample  from Elektra – maker of high end coffee machines for cafés. The device they were promoting stood almost a two feet high with several gadgets, but I could imagine anyone putting that in their apartment!


Look at the size of that!

Look at the size of that!

Hipster-based Café Grumpy, who we met at the previous Coffee & Tea Festival in Greenpoint were handing out complimentary espressos and beautifully decorated cappuccinos.

Cafe Grumpy

Cafe Grumpy

We also tasted some traditional pistachio, tangerine and salted caramel French macarons. Although they were really good, it’d be interesting to see how they match up to Ladurée et Pâtisserie Aoki in Paris.

French Macarons

French Macarons!

The ever-present Starbucks was there, which many would regard as a cancer rather than an authetic coffee merchant, promoted a new limited edition Microblend No. 11, which tasted like – good coffee! Okay, I haven’t a clue why it’s so special except that it’s got caffeine, yeah?

Starbucks special blend No. 11, aren't they adorable?

Starbucks special blend No. 11, aren’t they adorable?

After sampling over 10 kinds of coffee, we were in need of some booze. With our VIP tickets, we enjoyed a complimentary cocktail Epresso Martini Bar. My pal choose the dark espresso martini while I enjoyed a really light, refreshing citrus cocktail with Vdka 6100.

C'mon Isaac! Hurry up with my cocktail!

C’mon Isaac! Hurry up with my cocktail!

A citrus cocktail refreshingly cut through the coffee taste in our mouths

A citrus cocktail refreshingly cut through the coffee taste in our mouths


We also sampled ‘healthy’ chocolate and peanut brownies from Swedish import FIKA, which was an instant hit with the exfoliating, detoxicating women-folk, but I have to admit that they were good!.

Fika from Sweden

Fika from Sweden woos the ladies

One of the highlights of the show was the Portugese pastries from Monata Bakery Long Island City, which were indulgent vanilla choux à la crème with a hint of cinnamon in a beautifully flaky puff pastry. I could have seriously eaten the whole box if it weren’t for my quack’s warning to watch my cholesterol!

Delicious Portuguese Pasteis de Nata

Delicious Portuguese Pastreis de Nata

Other inventions included a new style of easy-to-use and even easier-to-clean French press gadget that keeps the coffee grounds from going all over the place from Simpli Press, presented by founder Jenni Morse.

Simpli Press Coffee

Simpli Press Coffee

Other stalls included Gregory’s Coffee, which I must confess was a weaker brew than they had claimed.

Gregory's Coffee

Gregory’s Coffee

Further down, I met up with The Barn, a German coffee wholesaler and distributor, who served up a mean cup of jo. It’s too bad they don’t have their own shop here in New York.

More creative tastings came from Milkadamia, an from the Land Down Under and now based in Oak Brook, Illinois , who introduced us to macadamian milk, which is like almond milk except that it was macadamia milk. Personally, I understand it’d be good for anyone with a milk allergy, but I still prefer it from the traditional cow.



Although there was no tea, I still had a great time tasting coffee and chatting with everyone there. I hope they’ll maybe rework the event next time to include some good teas and even more food. Because my stomach could only take so much.IMAG3487