Coffee Chronicles: Nolita Mart
Though I don't usually take my sophisticated coffee beverages in at places named "Mart", surprising Mott Street newcomer Nolita Mart may be a good candidate to change that.
The petite espresso bar-cum-gourmet shoppe is a bit of a Chinatown refuge: yes, it's the now-familiar-style of reclaimed wood and subway tile, but it marks a graceful oasis in the chaos that otherwise crowds Grand and Mott. Stumptown coffees are on the fully pimped bar; Hair Bender is the house espresso (still not this drinker's dream flavor profile, but a workhorse of a shot); and manual-brewed single origin coffees on the pourover station. (They use Bee House ceramic drippers, for those keeping score.)
To-stay macchiatos are either served as milky espressos or tiny cappuccinos, textured with lush Battenkill Valley Creamery milk. And you can pick up a Thomas Keller cookbook or a bag of Pirate's Booty while you wait, or simply hide out from the city in the coffee bar's beautiful seating area. Here's to the coffee revolution bringing more sophisticated, peaceful places like this to New York.