Strictly Paper-Cup Coffee

What’s the deal with the coffee? Some of you may wonder why New Yorkers cannot afford a coffee machine and instead get their coffee on the run and flaunt their paper cups in the street. Of course they can afford a coffee machine; that’s not the issue at all. 

New Yorkers don’t have the time to drink coffee at home. New York is a gigantic metropolis, and it makes you move between different boroughs, blocks and jobs. All this means great distances to be traversed every day, which is obviously time-consuming. A minute saved is a minute earned. Instead of enjoying our coffee at home, we’re enjoying it on the subway. Especially since the price of coffee is close to nothing for a New York native. Small cup of coffee can be bought in delis and from street vendors for as little as $1. Provided you’re OK with being occasionally surprised by how it tastes like, there’s no denying a cup of coffee is a cup of coffee. Besides, there are days when there’s no such thing as “bad coffee”.

You can buy coffee almost everywhere. Starbucks is, of course, the most popular chain of all. It’s a bit pricier, but not as much as you’d think. It’s common in Poland to think that Starbucks is a hipstery place, but over here it’s just a regular place to get coffee. It’s true that you have to pay at least $4 for a latte, which is way beyond the one buck you need at a deli, but you can have the freshly roasted coffee I happen to like for $2. All it takes is two bucks a day to know that my coffee will always taste the same. What’s more, such regular coffee is served immediately and I don’t need to wait for it (yes, I’m on the run, too).

There’s also Dunkin’ Donuts, one of the most popular places serving coffee (once you’re here, you usually end up having a donut or a bagel as well). A word of advice: don’t order regular coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, take a flavored one instead (walnut is a good choice). The regular one has a near-Starbucks price, but tastes more like the one you get at a street vendor’s. 

You can also choose one of the less known coffee shops around NY, where a very good coffee is served (like of my favorite places – Triple Shot World Atlas Coffee Shop).

For me, people running around with a paper cup in their hand are true symbols of this city, as iconic as Statue of Liberty itself.