I was able to check out Gregory's Coffee located at 58 W 44th Street in Manhattan's Midtown. It was a good-sized coffee shop for the real estate it occupied. It had a warm feeling with its extensive bakery products and multi-colored wooden wall in the back. It wasn't crazy-busy, but I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that it was 11am on a Monday morning. I noticed immediately that they had Wifi so I grabbed a table, set up shop and went to the counter to order.
I immediately noticed that behind the counter they had a couple of Mahlkonig EK 43 which screamed that they had similar tastes as I. I looked at the menu and the one thing that bummed me out a bit was the very limited single-origin menu they had. I'm always excited to try a bunch of new micro-farm products that I've never tried, but it looked like I was going to have my choice basically made for me. They had:
- Kayon Mountain (Ethiopian)
- La Huella (Nicaraguan)
- San Carlos (Guatemalan)
With this selection, it was apparent that they were appealing to the masses and the only brewing method on these selection was an AeroPress, which while making a great cup also seemed a bit limited. I started with the La Huella which they had listed having tasting notes of tangerine, plum and hazelnut. They called out when my cup was ready and it was served in a cool little Gregory's cup and I grabbed one of their Rice Chex that they said they were known for. The Rice Chex square was really good; instantly transporting me back to a childhood of eating too many Rice Krispy Treats. The La Huella definitely demonstrated citrus notes and the beans seemed to be roasted to a medium-dark from the finish. Exciting, complex flavors in every sip.
Next I went with the crowd favorite San Carlos from Guatemala. A fruity, chocolate profile was exhibited from this easy-to-drink choice. While it lacked the complexity of the Nicaraguan, this was a fun, single-origin coffee. They informed me that the chain has grown to 26 locations all within NYC and that their roaster was located in Long Island City and brought beans twice a week.
They offered a wide variety of specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, teas and hot chocolates as well as "mylks" which are listed as specialty almond milk drinks. The walls are lined with brewing options such as Chemex, AeroPress and some high-end conical burr grinders for home use like the Baratza Encore and Baratza Preciso.
While not expansive, it definitely did the job. Even though Gregory's has developed into a chain, they have not lost their touch with the small coffee shop experience that has made them successful. The staff was very friendly and even though they streamlined options of beans and brewing, they produce a very good cup of coffee.