Abraco Espresso

12 Jan

Of course I am halfway across the country and I find myself indulging in the familiar…

I will first let you read the little sum up of this tiny East Village espresso bar by the New York Times:

There are three things you need to know about the…cafe Abraço Espresso: it’s tiny, it brews excellent coffee, and the little food that it serves is way beyond coffee-shop caliber.

(Also, it’s named for the Gilberto Gil song “Aquele Abraço,” which means “that hug.” That helps to explain why it has a record player and a sheaf of ’70s jazz and Tropicalia on vinyl.)

The coffee duties are split between two of the partners: Jamie McCormick, who moved back to New York after a decade-plus trip to the San Francisco area spent mostly at the restaurant Oliveto and partly at Blue Bottle Coffee, and Amy Linton, a barista formerly at Ninth Street Espresso.

Both fashion espresso drinks that rank the shop among the city’s finest. More distinctive still is the drip coffee, ground and prepared in a Melitta filter to order ($2.50). The extra few minutes the process takes produce a full-bodied cup with a distinctly fruity character and refreshing acidity.

 Oliveto restaurant? Blue Bottle Coffee? These Bay Area spots are all too familiar with my leisure and work lives back home. I have to go to this New York espresso bar to check it out.

I went. I ordered an Americano and it was indeed “full-bodied…distinctly fruity…and [had] refreshing acidity.” I stood at the tiny counter, sipping away whilst people-watching: Two young 20-something women, the artsy type, chatting away about books and bars all the while flirting with the barista. A man with his young daughter stop in for a mid-morning snack–pain perdu, a French-toast dolloped with pastry cream and chocolate spread, wrapped in paper to eat on-the-go. Couples, parents, friends, and soloists like myself all trickled in to Abraco for a little perk to their day.


Abraco Espresso

86 East 7th Street (right around the corner from Yoga to the People at St. Mark’s Pl)

Closed Mondays

Post-caffeine, I headed around the corner to take a class at Yoga to the People. YTTP is a go-to yoga spot for me in the Bay Area. The original studio is right in the heart of New York City’s Lower East Side. I shan’t pass up the opportunity to attend a class and compare. Well folks, the New York class is exactly the same as the ones in the Bay Area, with a lot more people. Crowded. Get there early.


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