Stephanie is a native New Yorker and the founder of Orchard and Broome, a public relations company that selectively represents ethical or sustainable brands. Since she’s always taking so many coffee meetings with the conscious set, I asked her to share some of her favorite spots for a sustainable, ethical cup of coffee. And she delivered!
I tried to give up coffee. Well… that third cup of the day. But, truth be told, I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever be able to do, and not for the sake of the energy boost or pure love of drinking. I’d go as far as to say that coffee plays an integral role in the success of my career.
Everyone has their way: Some PR reps do lunch meetings, or grab drinks, but I prefer coffee. There’s something so logical about starting the day or having that afternoon pick-me-up with another creative (be it an editor, journalist, blogger, brand manager, so on and so forth). It’s inspiring, productive, efficient, and, honestly, cost-effective.
The only catch? Finding a coffee shop that makes a solid cup of organic or Fair Trade coffee, has a great atmosphere, and is conducive to conversation. That is the art of the coffee meeting. And these are, in my humble opinion, the best places to perform:
Grounded is a little oasis nestled within the bustling West Village, filled with plants and greenery, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Serving all organic and Rainforest Alliance certified coffee that’s small-batch roasted weekly, as well as organic loose teas, Grounded is one of my go-tos. The only downside is that it’s certainly no secret, and can sometimes be tough to grab a seat.
Grounded Coffee House, 28 Jane Street, New York, NY 10014
Merriweather is not only dangerously close to my home, making it super convenient, but a really fun Aussie-style cafe serving organic coffee and some really delicious and healthy food. The space is inspired by beach cafes in Sydney, so it’s bright, light, and modern.
Merriweather Kitchen + Coffee, 428 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
Roasting Plant is one of the most fun Fair Trade certified coffee shops to visit because of their JavabotTM system. It’s a clear Willy-Wonka-esque tube system that stores beans and delivers them to the roasters and brewers before your eyes.
Roasting Plant, 75 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10014 (Other location in LES)
Kobrick Coffee Co. offers a variety of coffees that include Direct Trade, Fair Trade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified. The retro-style cafe is a fun place to sip in the busy West Village/Meatpacking District area.
Kobrick Coffee Co., 24 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10014
Citizens of Chelsea is another Australian-inspired cafe doing a modern take on Aussie brunch cuisine and “proper Melbourne-style coffee,” which they source and roast themselves. The space, drinks and fare are all fresh and inspiring, making CoC a great choice.
Citizens of Chelsea, 401 W25th Street, New York, NY 10001
Intelligentsia is hosted within the High Line Hotel Lobby, making it a quiet escape from the noisy city. Beyond its single origin coffee that’s sourced from family-owned farms and smallholder co-ops, seasonal, or direct trade coffee options, I personally love sitting in the courtyard when the weather allows.
Intelligentsia Coffee at the High Line Hotel, 180 Tenth Ave., New York, NY 10011
Brooklyn Roasting Company covers all the bases: Fair Trade, organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified–hand-roasted locally in NYC. They have a couple of locations, but I haunt the Flatiron location for convenience purposes, but also its abundance of seating – you can always find a seat!
Brooklyn Roasting Company, 50 W23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
Stumptown has a couple of locations, but I gravitate towards the shop within the Ace Hotel. It definitely gets pretty busy, considering there are long tables for remote workers, and comfy couches throughout the lobby. That said, it’s a great cup of Direct Trade coffee that their “Green Team” carefully sources from the best producers within a really cool atmosphere.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters at the Ace Hotel, 18 W29th Street, New York, NY 10001
Union Fare is makes the cut because of the sheer number of cups I’ve consumed here is excessive. They serve La Colombe coffee to be sipped in a large gastrohall that’s outfitted with raw wood, hanging bulbs, and lots of seating. It’s a multi-use space, so you can either grab a bite from various vendors, or just a coffee and pastry from the cafe area.
Union Fare 5 E17th Street, New York, NY 10003
Joe & The Juice is rapidly expanding, and it’s no wonder. This global franchise makes a great assortment of juices, smoothies, and coffee drinks. While the music can sometimes be a little loud and the space a bit crowded, for Soho, there’s a decent amount of seating options – especially in the back area – to host a productive meeting.
Joe & The Juice, 67 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
Dr Smood is minimal, sleek, and cozy with a range of “smart” foods, cold pressed juices, teas, and, of course, organic coffee. There are various locations in Miami, and a couple in New York, but its Soho spot is a great option.
Dr Smood Soho, 470 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
La Colombe has a ton of locations throughout the States, and eight in NYC alone. They offer a range of signature blends and seasonal single-origin coffees on drip, espresso, and pourover. Each space is decorated in similar fashion: sleek, modern, minimal, and swoon-worthy.
La Colombe, 400 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003
Lafayette has always been one of my go-to spots. They not only serve really great, organic coffee at the cafe, but there’s plenty of seating – you can sit within the cafe area itself, or (pro tip) order at the bar and sit at the tables just beyond the hostess station. Needless to say, I’ve held many a meetings here and gone through many a punch cards.
Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery, 380 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003
Greecologies holds a special place on this list and in my heart. I adore this spot for its great, organic coffee, grass-fed Greek yogurt, really unique and gorgeous decor, and back courtyard. It is just one of the most inspiring spaces, in my opinion, and a true gem.
Greecologies, 378 Broome Street, New York, NY 10012
Gimme! Coffee makes it onto this list, not because of the ability to have an organic cup within this tiny space, but because of its proximity to the Elizabeth Street Garden – a community sculpture garden on Elizabeth between Prince & Spring Streets. On a warm, sunny day it is so nice to have some coffee and conversation surrounded by marble statues in a one-acre park. It doesn’t feel like you’re in NYC at all.
Gimme! Coffee 228 Mott Street, New York, NY 10012
B Cup Cafe is a really laid-back, creative, and cozy spot with both tables and couches. They make a delicious cup of organic coffee, and a range of signature drinks, as well. If it’s in the cards, have a bite, as well, because the food at B Cup is fantastic with options for all eaters.
B Cup Cafe, 212 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
Kaffe 1668 is adorably decorated with little sheep all around the shop. An artist designs them, and they’re actually for sale, but it makes for a fun atmosphere within which to share a cup of their delicious organic coffee.
Kaffe 1668 (South), 275 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007
Devocion is by far and away one of my favorite shops, aesthetically speaking. It’s lofty ceilings with a massive skylight, exposed brick walls, and quintessential Brooklyn vibe are complemented by the green wall and many plants. It does get very crowded, considering it’s known to be one of the best cups of joe in Williamsburg, but it’s worth a shot. Their dedication to sustainability goes beyond Fair Trade, to establish social and environmental programs to help build better futures for their farmers in Colombia.
Devocion, 69 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Toby’s Estate can be found all around NYC, but the original cafe and roastery in Brooklyn is beautiful with fun decor and lots of natural light. Not only is the brand committed to sustainability, with a Direct Farm program for their coffee, but it’s a really delicious, buzz-inducing cup (in my opinion).
Toby’s Estate, 125 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
KAVE doubles as an espresso bar and event space, so between indoors and out, there’s a fair amount of space to settle in for a cup of their organic brew.
KAVE Brooklyn, 119 Knickerbocker Ave., New York, NY 11237