Coffee on 13th: Joe Coffee Company

Welcome to Coffee on 13th Street! If you’re a caffeine addict like me, this new series should excite you. Beyond my body’s physical need for caffeine (withdrawal headaches, anyone? I have a problem), I constantly crave the strong, nutty flavor only a warm cappuccino can offer me. I satisfy my craving in the morning with a tiny Nespresso machine fitting for the close quarters of my Manhattan apartment, but a single espresso shot can only go so far before my afternoon craving strikes. 

 

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Lucky for me, there are a number of coffee shops around the corner from the New School University Center that alleviate my headache in addition to offering great-tasting coffee, and as a loyal customer to most of them, I am here to give you a crash course of each one. This week, we’re going to Joe Coffee Company. 

 

Location: 

Joe Coffee is located between 5th Avenue and University Place right next to the University Center. The facade is low-key; besides their sidewalk board, there is limited attention-grabbing signage. This is probably for the best, as they benefit from consistent student and faculty foot traffic.

Atmosphere: 

Joe Coffee is fairly small, but I wouldn’t expect anything more from a Manhattan coffee shop. There’s one communal table and a couple of small tables by the front door, and a small bar with stools, a bench, and two small tables in the back by the pick-up counter. The music volume  stays at a reasonable level for a bustling coffee shop, but the shop’s crowded nature does not make it my go-to study spot. Expect a line practically out the door during the peak 10-minutes-before-class rush period (think 9:00 am, 12:10 pm, 2:50 pm, etc!).  

Drinks: 

Joe Coffee has drinks similar to that of a typical coffee shop, including extras like chai, matcha lattes, and seasonal beverages. This season’s is the Ginger Butterscotch Latte. If you like extra ginger, go for it, and make it even more indulgent with frothy oat milk!

(Side note: Apart from a perky caffeine boost, another perk of Joe Coffee is the cup design. The rich, almost corporate-like blue of the paper cup makes me feel important, which lets me continue to fake it ‘till I make it-- I’m still waiting on the ‘make it’ part, but that is a later concern.)

 

Food: 

In addition to trendy waters and juices, Joe Coffee has a small section for to-go salads or sandwiches. My favorite section is naturally the pastry window. Well-stocked with gluten-free and vegan goodies galore, my current favorites are the blueberry muffin with cornflakes on top (the crunch is oddly satisfying) and the gluten-free pistachio cardamom bread. 

Price: 

My love of Joe Coffee unfortunately explains my wallet’s chronic pain. Their house drip coffee is $3.10 for a small cup, and the prices of everything else only go up from there. For those of you with meal plans, Joe Coffee does take Dining Dollars Plus payments, so use that to your advantage. Speaking of plus: if you ask, they’ll give you a punch card for a free drink after ten punches.

 

Wait time: 

I tend to wait five to ten minutes for my coffee order, depending on what I order, how long the line is, and how many drinks the baristas are busy with. My wait time does truthfully lean more towards ten minutes, but as you’ll find out for yourself, it’s worth it!

 

Taste: 

If you like rich, deep tones of flavor, add Joe Coffee to your list of must-trys. My usual cappuccinos and americanos at Joe never fail me; the coffee is strong enough to kick me out of a mid-day slump, yet smooth enough to feel like a well-deserved indulgence.