If you’re ever in want of a beer to go with that cappuccino, partake in double the froth at 71 Irving Place . I only learned this lovely fact through my journalistic Google search after my visit to the Gramercy location. The great thing about Irving Place and its greater family, Irving Farm, is that this is certainly the only thing they aren’t up front about. From sourcing to brewing, their website lays out all of the facts proudly and transparently. Despite their far flung sources in the South Pacific, East Africa, and Latin America, their aromatic beans are kept local once they hit American soil at their own roasting farm in the town of Millerton.
While their locations are plentiful all over Manhattan, 71 Irving Place was the first in the heart of Gramercy. It opened its doors as a coffee shop in 1992, hosted in a historic brownstone that it shares with Friend of a Farmer, a restaurant with belly-warming chicken pot pie that I highly recommend.
Yet again, I discovered 71 Irving Place thanks to my coffee connoisseur, Sarah Taylor. A mere block and a half from my home I realized I had been living in total uncaffeinated darkness. Well, not anymore as we rocked up to the cozy ground floor of the brownstone. Flanked by brick walls and sprinkled with folks chatting or typing away on MacBooks, I got the vibe that it is easier to settle into 71 Irving Place than it is to leave it.
I went with my usual cappuccino and Sarah an Americano. It wasn’t until I was loading up on (raw, cut me some slack!) sugar that I noticed a sign describing their pumpkin seed milk. Pumpkin seed milk?! Not even the hipsters I knew had heard of squeezing and extracting milk out of pumpkin seed. You truly do learn something new every day. Sarah was so bold as to ask for samples of said milk and its pale greenish hue was surprising and would make a beautiful wall color. How did it taste, you ask? I was delighted by its sweet flavor, though less sweet than soy milk. The aftertaste reminded me of cardamom, though I could have been totally crazy.
Next time you’re in Gramercy and dying for some brew, whether it be beer or coffee, check out 71 Irving Place. Ask for some pumpkin seed milk in your latte and be the most nouveau basic in town.