Long-loved but far-flung Long Island City cafe Sweetleaf crossed the Pulaski Bridge last week (we're assuming they biked) to what has fast become the Williamsburg Waterfront Coffee District, joining Toby's Estate, Modca and Blue Bottle in a death match for flea-market and food-fair foot traffic.
The space, shared with realtor Modern Spaces (sorry, those cinema-display computers in the back aren't for online gaming), retains much of the first shop's reclaimed-door-and-steampunk-antique sensibility. Queens-baked goods from the original store location remain a wonderful complement to the ever-changing cast of coffees, ranging from daily drip and manual pourover drip to blended and single origin espressos.
Roasters from the other coast are prominently featured as is la mode, such as Heart and longstanding Sweetleaf favorite Ritual. We loved the sweet and airy Colombia El Mandarino microlot from the latter, poured over V60 into a sneaky custom brew-bar with brewer-cone drains. The level of care is among the highest in NYC—with the level of pretension among the lowest. It's a(n unfortunately) rare combination that makes each cup of coffee that much sweeter.
You can a tour of the space via the slideshow above, or see for yourself (you can even take a ferry boat from one Sweetleaf to another and avoid all that Williamsburg fixie traffic.)
About the author: Liz Clayton drinks, photographs and writes about coffee and tea all over the world, though she pretends to live in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently compiling photographs of the best coffee in the world to be published by Presspop later this year.