Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: Chuckster on December 31, 2007, 12:13:18 PM

Title: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on December 31, 2007, 12:13:18 PM
There's been a lot of recent discussion on the neighborhood's coffee, and it seems that 2007 brought us some new options, in addition to the promise of a soon to open Starbuck's.  Just looking at the polling list shows how lucky we are in Jackson Heights to have so much choice.  Below is my take on each place:








What coffee will you be drinking in 2008?
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on January 01, 2008, 06:26:40 PM
None for me, thanks.  I love coffee culture, but don't particularly enjoy drinking the stuff!
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: fishcado on January 03, 2008, 05:50:37 PM
Dunkin Donuts and old greek coffee shop coffee always rocks. Everything else is torpe.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: kate on January 03, 2008, 07:04:08 PM
Pan Fino on Northern Blvd is also great. Nice cappuccino and cafe con leche.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on January 04, 2008, 11:44:32 AM
It looks like our area will be getting yet another great coffee shop.

Jen at the JHFamilies listserv noticed that Esparks Coffee (http://esparkscoffee.com) (currently in Astoria) is opening a second location at  80-01 Broadway (at Baxter).  The hospital and playground are right there, so this is an ideal location for something like this.  It should do well.

Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on January 04, 2008, 01:35:08 PM
Although I voted "All of the Above" on this coffee poll, in my non-expert opinion, nothing beats a homemade version of cafe cubano.  I thought I'd share this simple recipe I found on the internet.  This happens to be the method I was taught to make cafe cubano, and its aroma and flavor are awesome! 

http://www.ineedcoffee.com/99/08/cubano/
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Panda on January 04, 2008, 04:16:29 PM
I happen to love Starbucks coffee.  When my husband I moved to the neighborhood I emailed Starbucks and asked if they would think about opening a store.  We're still waiting.  At least now, we have FreshDirect, at first they would not deliever to Jackson Heights, you could order on line and then have to go to Long Island City to pick it up.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: intercaecos on January 04, 2008, 04:37:33 PM
Panda, rest assured that you are but one of many who have long been urging Starbucks to come here.  And it's finally happening!  I still can't quite believe it.  Now if only we could get a Food Emporium.....
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: kate on January 04, 2008, 05:26:57 PM
Opening a coffee shop near Elmhurst Hospital is a clever move. They will have tons of business. Sounds great.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on January 07, 2008, 10:42:17 AM
Yet another contestant... McDonald's plans to compete in the espresso arena...

http://eater.com/archives/2008/01/coffee_megawars.php
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on January 07, 2008, 11:00:37 AM
Thanks for posting Todd.

I can't even begin to imagine ordering a 500 cal. "McLatte" to go with that 800 cal. Big Mac!  What's next?  McWifFi?    ???
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: jennsch on January 07, 2008, 11:05:27 AM
Actually, yeah, there are plenty of McDonald's that already offer WiFi. A friend upstate considers her local McDonald's her second office.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on January 07, 2008, 11:34:05 AM
Actually, yeah, there are plenty of McDonald's that already offer WiFi. A friend upstate considers her local McDonald's her second office.

Wow!  I've been living in a cave!

Actually, offering WiFi is not so offbeat .  Although, I do tend to believe that there would be far too many distractions in a place like McDonald's to enjoy WiFi.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on January 08, 2008, 03:35:59 PM
Yet another contestant... McDonald's plans to compete in the espresso arena...

http://eater.com/archives/2008/01/coffee_megawars.php


Starbuck's answer to yesterday's news on McDonald's vying for the popular coffee market comes in the form of a letter from Starbuck's CEO, Howard Schultz.  His letter speaks of adding to the "distinctive Starbuck's experience."  New beverages/products are on the way.

http://www.starbucks.com/
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on January 24, 2008, 07:37:45 AM
Scorps1027 posts an extended Ode to Coffee (http://scorps1027intransit.blogspot.com/2008/01/ode-to-coffee.html) (with special fondness for chai on 74th Street in Jackson Heights) in her blog, In Transit.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on February 13, 2008, 04:00:17 PM
Earlier today, I caught a commercial by Dunkin Donuts featuring Rachael Ray promoting Dunkin's new toasted menu items.  It seems that Dunkin will be offering oven toasted items, including personal pizzas, hash browns and flatbread sandwiches.  So Starbucks eliminates their breakfast sandwiches, and Dunkin add them and then some.

http://www.sunherald.com/447/story/367261.html
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: icicis on February 13, 2008, 09:41:13 PM
Earlier today, I caught a commercial by Dunkin Donuts featuring Rachael Ray promoting Dunkin's new toasted menu items.  It seems that Dunkin will be offering oven toasted items, including personal pizzas, hash browns and flatbread sandwiches.  So Starbucks eliminates their breakfast sandwiches, and Dunkin add them and then some.

http://www.sunherald.com/447/story/367261.html


Y'know I tried those hash browns from DD when they first came out with it and it was NASTY!  :o :o  Don't know if they've improved but I ain't even gonna try and find out.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on February 22, 2008, 02:20:14 PM
Coffee House Report, Friday, Feb. 22, 2008, 2:00 pm

Starbucks: Crowded!
Espresso 77: Crowded!


Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: abee on February 22, 2008, 02:50:38 PM
I made a trip to both today!  ;D I'm on a bit of a caffeine high right now!
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on February 22, 2008, 02:54:46 PM
I made a trip to both today!  ;D I'm on a bit of a caffeine high right now!

That's nice to hear.  I opted for Espresso 77 around 10:30ish today.  O.K., so I thought that most folks would be at the new Starbucks.  Wrong!  Espresso 77 was more crowed than usual at this time!
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Dawnie on February 22, 2008, 11:59:17 PM
Starbucks looks beautiful!  8) They did a nice job there and I hope they do good business!  Although, I am loyal to Dunkin I will go to Starbucks occasionally for a Cappuccino.  I must say to Chuckster thank you for letting me know that I can get some cafe de leche (I'm sure I spelled that wrong?) I will def venture out there to.  :D
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: ShinjukuBaby on February 28, 2008, 04:50:49 PM
Thanks, toddg and Chuckster for the update on Espresso 77 since the opening of Starbucks.

I have nothing against Starbucks, but I'd far prefer to see a locally owned business succeed in the neighborhood if it is a choice between the two.  I don't drink coffee, so I don't make it into Espresso 77 very often, but I make all my out of town guests go there for coffee.

I recently saw an article (WSJ?  Business Week?) that said that, counter what you might imagine, Starbucks usually leads to increased business at nearby local shops.  I sure hope that's the case here and that they can both thrive!

Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: kate on February 28, 2008, 06:06:17 PM
Interesting there's no comparisons between lety's (a local business), and Starbucks. Maybe it's because espresso 77 is more similar to Starbucks than Lety's (which is a bakery first and foremost). However, I recall the Daily News article where she spoke about feeling the coffee sales would decline--at least for awhile, however, knew she had the pasteries hands down. Her competition would really be Cannelle and that's so far, that it might as well be in Sunnyside. However, there are some nice things happening in JH food wise, so they can all co-exist. I think the article that you read was posted on this forum months back. I mean look at all the Thai places in Elmhurst, almost a dime a dozen. It's always Nusara vs. Chao or Sri (i refuse to spell it out) vs. Zabb. I think that variety truly is the way to go, it combats boredom.  I've been doing a lot of Starbucks lately because it's new to this area. Lety's was my main place, so, i'll probably start going again, and it will be like a new place all over again.

Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: Chuckster on February 29, 2008, 07:36:15 PM
I'm not a coffee aficionada, but I have to admit that I've been hitting up all the coffee places in the neighborhood.

For best taste, I prefer Espresso 77.  Starbucks offers a comfortable environment to lounge around while enjoying my coffee.  Come to think of it, I'm just starting to learn what this whole "Starbucks" experience is all about.  When I go to Lety's, it's mostly for pastries...which I have to admit that I've been indulging in much too frequently.  I love their anisette cookies.  On Cannelle -- The coffee is just O.K., but O.K. is good enough when the real reason I'm heading over there is for the decadent French pastries and croissants.  I even do Dunkin when I'm just in the mood for a good cup of coffee accompanied by a donut or two.  ::)  Cafe con leche options are definitely abundant in the neighborhood...pair it up with some tostones, a chicharron de guayaba or an empanada, and I'm in heaven!
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: kate on February 29, 2008, 09:22:32 PM
I definitely like the Starbucks experience. I also like some of their food options. Nice, fresh salads and sandwiches that are tasty and low-calorie (when they're not ravaged). Actually a place to get a salad that doesn't use iceburg. I haven't been to Cannelle in ages, probably when the whether is better it will be a real lure.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: bunnyspeaks on March 02, 2008, 10:18:46 PM
Does anyone know if the owner of Espresso 77 hangs out at the store with her baby sometimes?
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on March 02, 2008, 10:30:06 PM
Yes, that's Julie.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: julesnyc on March 03, 2008, 09:01:17 AM
Julie here from Espresso 77:
Yes, that's me.  My husband Afzal spends much more time at the shop than I do (he is usually working behind the bar most evenings during the week), but Audra and I stop by from time to time to check on things and chat with our wonderful customers.  Please say hi next time you see us!  If you have any questions about the shop, please email me at info@espresso77.com.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on March 06, 2008, 11:37:36 AM
Coffee insanity of the day: How the Clover is changing the way we think about coffee (http://www.slate.com/id/2185655).
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: icicis on March 15, 2008, 03:15:06 PM
Decided to check out the new Starbucks since I had to stop by the post office.  I was appalled they didn't have wifi or any internet connection.  :o :o

I prefer E77 anyway.  :rockon:
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: kate on March 15, 2008, 07:22:09 PM
No wifi, but, they provide good benefits to their employees, especially health. One of the reasons I have no beef in supporting them.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: toddg on March 19, 2008, 03:48:50 PM
Hmmm... Starbucks bought Clover (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/19/business/19cnd-sbux.html).  Smart move... now Starbucks can profit directly from pricey upstarts like Cafe Grumpy (http://www.cafegrumpy.com/).  I don't even drink coffee, and I'm fascinated by this.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: buddy on March 23, 2008, 02:42:48 PM
Finally decided to check out Lety's since a lot of people online like it.  The coffee was not as good as Expresso 77 BUT THEY HAD CHOCOLATE COVERED CANNOLI'S!    :smitten:

I still like Expresso 77 better.
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: kate on March 24, 2008, 06:15:29 PM
I was at Lety's yesterday. Got the rainbow cookies--yum.
Title: NYTimes article on coffee shops in JH - and an assemblyman's sorry press release
Post by: smok on April 03, 2008, 01:32:21 PM
Check out the City Room article on the new Starbucks, plus mention of other great coffee places in the 'hood. I think I'm heading to El Pequeno Coffee Shop this weekend!

Here's the link: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/frothing-over-a-starbucks-in-little-colombia/index.html?ex=1364961600&en=a65b4ce832541f4f&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Also, notice the interesting and sad quote from Peralta. I am frankly a bit surprised that he would be quoted as saying “The community should not have to settle for less because it deserves the best." What is he suggesting? That our locally grown coffee shops are not the best? In my mind, Starbucks is fine and gives a good balance to the retail on 37th, but we should note that chains send their profits to corporate headquarters while the profit from locally owned stores stays in the community with owners who live and work here. It's called the multiplier effect. For every dollar you spend at Starbuck's, the majority of the profit gets sent away. But compare that to every dollar you spend at Letty's or Expresso 77. Those profits get respent by the owner who lives in the community, shops at local stores and eats at local restaurants. That money in turn gets spent by employees and owners of that establishment, and so on. So every dollar spent in a local store is 'multiplied' many times over every dollar spent in a national chain. I wish our politicians would work as hard to help local stores as they did to get Starbucks in the 'hood. Don't get me wrong, I am not against Starbucks being here - I just want folks to be educated about how their buying decisions affect the neighborhood.


Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: John Prester on April 03, 2008, 02:18:50 PM
Also, notice the interesting and sad quote from Peralta. I am frankly a bit surprised that he would be quoted as saying “The community should not have to settle for less because it deserves the best." What is he suggesting? That our locally grown coffee shops are not the best? In my mind, Starbucks is fine and gives a good balance to the retail on 37th, but we should note that chains send their profits to corporate headquarters while the profit from locally owned stores stays in the community with owners who live and work here. It's called the multiplier effect. For every dollar you spend at Starbuck's, the majority of the profit gets sent away. But compare that to every dollar you spend at Letty's or Expresso 77. Those profits get respent by the owner who lives in the community, shops at local stores and eats at local restaurants. That money in turn gets spent by employees and owners of that establishment, and so on. So every dollar spent in a local store is 'multiplied' many times over every dollar spent in a national chain. I wish our politicians would work as hard to help local stores as they did to get Starbucks in the 'hood. Don't get me wrong, I am not against Starbucks being here - I just want folks to be educated about how their buying decisions affect the neighborhood.

Not so fast!

I agree with you on Lety's and Espresso 77 being "locally owned" in the sense that the owners (as far as I can surmise from comments on this board) live in the neighborhood.  But I don't believe you can extend that logic to every other shop/store in the neighborhood.  I've seen a few instances of stores (no names!) where the customers/employees are waiting outside early morning for the owners to show up - the owner is driving in to the neighborhood from somewhere else.  So how do you define "local"?  Jackson Heights? Queens? New York State? New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area?

If I were a young teenager today looking for part time employment - after school, summertime, etc., I would choose Starbuck's over any other crummy job working for some "salt of the earth" locally owned business, and I'm sure you would also.  Which place would pay me more?  Starbuck's, the corner "bodega", or an "ethnic" restaurant?  Which place has the better health care plan?  Which place has the better stock option/employee stock purchase plan?  Also, the employees of Starbuck's will have even more money to spend locally, due to higher relative wages, compared to what the "locally owned" business owner would most likely pay.

Lastly, many of the "locally owned" business are typically looking to pay the lowest possible wages they can.  Yes, that is obvious "code speak" for another topic!  Starbuck's can't play that game as easily as the "locally owned" businesses can!  As for Starbuck's "stealing from the employee tip jar", I'm aware of that issue, and that's also another topic!
Title: Re: Coffee vs. Coffee
Post by: ShinjukuBaby on April 03, 2008, 03:07:38 PM
I'm finally quoted in the New York Times and it's something I posted on an anonymous message board!