Underline Coffee in Chelsea NYC

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Peppersass
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#1: Post by Peppersass »

While on vacation in NYC, I visited Underline coffee shop on 20th St near 10th Ave in Chelsea. The name comes from the fact that the shop is directly under the famous High Line, a wonderful walk along the lower West side built on old elevated train tracks. The High Line is a huge tourist attraction these days.

We were staying at the High Line Hotel on 20th &10th, which has an Intelligensia coffee bar inside, complete with a La Marzoccco e-Strada, and an Intelligensia coffee bus in the outdoor cafe. While the coffee was head and shoulders above typical hotel fare, and thus quite a treat to roll out of bed and get good coffee without having to go somewhere else, it's not up to the standard of independent chains like Joe's Coffee, my fave in Chelsea (that said, one morning I ordered and SO espresso at Intelligensia and the barista re-dialed the grind with a scale.) Anyway, after a couple of days of Intelligensia coffee, I decided to venture across 10th avenue to Underline and give it a try.

Underline is a small place, with limited seating and limited food (avocado toast, now ubiquitous in NYC, is available, along with a few pastries.) For coffee nerds, however the place is set apart from other cafes by the shiny Mirage lever espresso machine you see when you walk in the door. They roast their own beans under the Apes and Peacocks brand name. The roastery is located elsewhere.

The barista showed some skill with the Mirage and spoke with some knowledge about coffee. The Zambian natural SO I ordered is roasted ultra-light, which produced a somewhat under-extracted shot, but I liked it enough to buy a bag. Some interesting results from my attempts to pull it at home are reported here.

If you like small, eclectic cafes that offer very-light roasted SOs, give Underline a try.

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GC7
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#2: Post by GC7 »

Thanks for the detailed report.

It's always nice to stop into a new place in the city. I will check it out when I'm in the neighborhood. No avocado toast though :D

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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#3: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Any other places for coffee or a roaster in NYC that anyone recommends. Planning a trip out there and up to Hudson Valley in the fall so all recommendations appreciated.
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Catherwood

#4: Post by Catherwood »

Felix Roasting Co., Park Ave South at 30th st.
from their IG pics you might think it's gimmicky or hype but the quality of coffee and drinks is there. Worth a visit

MNate
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#5: Post by MNate »

I just got back from NYC with my family and generally found the places I researched on here and the Bean Hunter App to be pretty good, but none of what I tried really stood out as worth a trek across town. We did small flat whites/caps and I usually had mine to go as I like to take my time drinking.

I wanted to try Felix but traveling with the kids we just hit whatever was closest to our route. That was a nice thing about Manhattan, the good coffee was spread out instead of in one specific neighborhood as in Chicago, Mpls, or LA (from my experience). I didn't know about Underline, but it sounds great.

Here's what I tried, relatively in the order I liked them:
-Birch Coffee near Madison Square Park (our favorite and so the only one we returned to a second time. Of course second time wasn't as good as first...)
-Joe Pro on 21st
- Caffe Vita (they have a Brooklyn roasters for their New York outposts)
-Little Collins
-Kaffe 1668

-East One Coffee Roasters was a step below, for sure.
-Abraço was our least favorite but the 5p service may not be representative. Our NYC friend we trust for taste likes this place best. It was pretty good when it cooled down.

A few others, I'm forgetting... so perhaps not worth mentioning.

-Culture on 36th had machine troubles so I could only get a cold brew, which was ok.

I am thankful for the lists on H-B but they do get out of date, I think. Too bad there can't be a better system for that.

Some photos:
Birch:
Image
JoePro:
Image
Vita:
Image
Little Collins:
Image
Abraco:
Image

Catherwood

#6: Post by Catherwood »

Keep forgetting about this place in NYC. Hi Collar on 10th st.
Tiny Japanese coffee bar but no espresso. Choose beans and method. Pour over, Aeropress or Siphon. Several cold brews to choose from.
Hours are 11AM to 4PM. At 5 PM it turns over to a Sake Bar. Serve food as well

cpreston

#7: Post by cpreston »

I agree especialu re Joe Pro Shop. Also suggest Third Rail near Washington sq park in the village - Probably my favorite.

kenyabob

#8: Post by kenyabob »

I was also just traveling with my family in NYC, and got a lot of the same recommendations.

If you are in brooklyn, Id suggest Everyman Espresso. Coffee was great, and barista made a lot of other recommendations for places around to grab a coffee. Their recommendations were

1) Underline Coffee
2) Hi-Collar
3) Black Fox

I was able to get to East One, and agree with the other poster, its less about coffee and more an all around shop. I also went to Devocion in Brooklyn which was extremely trendy, but had a decent shot, and was definitely a ristretto.

Box kite in Manhattan was very good, with a few different beans available for espresso. Joe Pro was also recommended, but we never made it.

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LBIespresso

#9: Post by LBIespresso »

kenyabob wrote:I was also just traveling with my family in NYC, and got a lot of the same recommendations.

If you are in brooklyn, Id suggest Everyman Espresso. Coffee was great, and barista made a lot of other recommendations for places around to grab a coffee...
The Everyman just off of Canal is great to but the one on 11th street is hit or miss in my experience. Also, Cafe Integral on Elizabeth is great too.
LMWDP #580

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LBIespresso

#10: Post by LBIespresso »

Catherwood wrote:Keep forgetting about this place in NYC. Hi Collar on 10th st.
Tiny Japanese coffee bar but no espresso. Choose beans and method. Pour over, Aeropress or Siphon. Several cold brews to choose from.
Hours are 11AM to 4PM. At 5 PM it turns over to a Sake Bar. Serve food as well
Thanks for the suggestion!

I found myself in the neighborhood with time to kill so I walked over to check it out. There was a line outside and no list or reservations...just queue up and wait. So l waited...45 minutes! (I did have time to kill). They rotate roasters and this day they had a few coffees from Devocion. There is a price for each coffee and an upcharge for each brew method. This place is expensive but for that you get great presentation, great food, and a very cool atmosphere. I had the geisha as siphon brew and it was delish. The fruit sandwich was great but someone next to me got the pancakes and they looked even better. They also had all sorts of tamago omelettes that looked great as well. I really want to go back at night when it becomes a sake bar but I degress. This is a top notch coffee experience like no other in NYC.
LMWDP #580