Years before Cafe Grumpy was in existence in Chelsea, there was an outstanding coffee shop called The Big Cup. It was the neighborhood hang out. Comfy couches and chairs lined the walls. Assorted magazines were scattered on the coffee tables for customers to enjoy while they visited the shop. The baristas who worked there knew all of the regulars by name. It was the Cheers of coffee shops. Then, when rent on the building skyrocketed, The Big Cup sadly closed their doors for business. After that unfortunate incident there was no neighborhood coffee shop in Chelsea (besides the corporate world of Starbucks). Then, when Cafe Grumpy opened its doors (I’m not 100% sure on the exact date), I felt a sigh of relief. “Finally, a coffee shop where I can enjoy a great cup of coffee in my own little world of Chelsea and feel a great sense of community.” Located on West 20th Street between 8th and 7th Avenues, Cafe Grumpy provides just that: an amazing cup of coffee and a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy it in.
Originally from Brooklyn (Park Slope and Greenpoint locations), Manhattan as I pointed out above, was in desperate need of a coffee shop with character. Welcome Cafe Grumpy to the scene.When you first approach the store, you are greeted with their cute logo: a grumpy coffee bean. This is one of the most clever and ingenious logos/designs for a coffee shop I have ever come across. I was already excited to enter just from that. I’m easy to please. The interior is simple yet inviting: small wooden tables placed strategically in the front, side and back of the store; a sophisticated espresso machine and coffee grinder across the right side in front of a beautiful exposed brick wall. To further this relaxation classical music and instrumental jazz lightly sound throughout the entire space…love.
When I first took a look at the coffee roast selection, I was slightly overwhelmed. Although I tend to think of myself as a coffee connoisseur, I needed some help. The barista directed me to a listing of the coffees that they had available that day. From what I saw, there were 6 selections ready for me to enjoy. After reading every description (and honestly wanting to try every flavor), I went with the Fazenda Passeio. According to the Cafe Grumpy website this bean hails from Brazil and features notes of marzipan and hazelnut with a light vanilla taste in the finish. Back to my coffee: once the beans were ground and served in an oversized mug (my favorite thing to sip coffee from) I could instantly smell the hazelnut. It was absolutely delicious to smell and to taste. This cup of coffee I had today was probably one of the smoothest, most expertly roasted and amazing ones I have tried to date.
To accompany the coffee I had a slice of their chocolate chip banana bread. As I have pointed out many times, sweets are my vice (but a good one!) and I love all of them. This bread was no exception to that rule. Moist, decadent, large chocolate chips scattered throughout, a slightly crunchy outer layer sprinkled with sugar and this banana bread did just the trick. Please check out Cafe Grumpy if you ever find yourself in the Chelsea neighborhood (of travel there…or visit their 2 Brooklyn locations), you absolutely will not be disappointed.