In the heart of the bustling, iconic streets of New York City, on the much-traveled Fifth Avenue in downtown, lies one of the city’s hidden gems: Toby’s Estate Coffee. Originating in Brooklyn, this small-batch roaster is a fantastic example of the greatness that can be achieved by simply believing that every cup of coffee tells a story. Working tirelessly with farmers and co-ops, they source their coffee through the relationships they build with the workers.
The Fifth Avenue location is Flatiron Espresso Bar, accompanied by Strand Bookstore and a tiny pop-up flower shop. The smells and sounds of the coffee and machine mix elegantly with the bookstore atmosphere, and stepping over the threshold to smell the indoor flowers makes for quite the experience.
Boasting a simple menu, the press clippings on their website are no joke: this is easily known as one of the best (if arguably, the best) cup of coffee in the city. There isn’t a ton of space in the Flatiron location, as it’s simply one room with a white espresso machine and a tiny marble bar, but what it lacks in space, it makes up for in the coffee itself. Trying the basic latte and mocha, the former is creamy and smoother than most, and a dash more sweetness than your typical foamy drink. The latter falls on the more dark chocolate side, and doesn’t overpower with its sweetness. The classics won’t break the bank either, despite being in the high-end parts of NYC.
With other locations in Williamsburg, the West Village, Midtown, and Long Island, much of the city is close enough to grab a cup of this well-known joe. Adding some unique flavor to the brand is the ability to buy their small batches online, as well as subscribe for bags of their roasts delivered right to your door. Toby’s Estate also offers cupping labs and what they call Brew Classes, where you can gain skills on how to properly home brew, as well as learn more about making stylized drinks, one-on-one. Finally, in an effort to maintain the sustainability they’ve created, the roasters continually strive to give back to the communities they are a part of, including New York and especially where their coffee comes from.