Everyman Espresso – unfortunately not for every man

My research of Everyman Espresso led me to expect an arrogant bunch of hipster-baristas, and my suspicion was confirmed while Derek and I waited on the line. We overheard a girl ask Sam Penix, the owner, for a vanilla latte. I cringed. I figured it was her first time outside of Starbucks. Sam gave a curt explanation for why their coffee isn’t flavored: “It’s that damn good.” The phrase was also written on their menu, which was unusually pricey. My latte was $4.25 and Derek’s cortado cost him $3.75. We passed on the baked goods which are supplied local businesses.

The art on the latte held its form well, indicating the milk was steamed properly. At first sip, I actually enjoyed tasting the foam, an integral part of an espresso drink that is often neglected as being a mere canvas for decorative purposes. The creama and microfoam were proportionally spot on. Overall, the cup was relaxing, without the an unpleasant bitterness at all.

The espresso they use is Counter Culture’s Toscano, which I got a better taste of in a sip of Derek’s cortado.  A mildly sweet blend with “notes of caramel, hazelnut, and dark chocolate” was expected. I can’t say for sure whether he experienced it all, but it sure was “damn good.”

Everyman wasn’t originally intended to be a cafe, and the sparse seating isn’t the only reason why I can’t fully qualify it as one. They operate in the lobby of Classic State Company’s theater. The minimal attention to creating a cafe atmosphere was extended to the entire room, which closely resembled an industrial basement.

Still, Everyman Espresso draws in a loyal flock of MacBook owners. The pretentious attitude with every espresso doesn’t drive them away. The pride in Everyman’s coffee is warranted; they take their time with every drink and chose to raise prices rather than cut quality when the international bean prices rose a month ago. Sam clearly is passionate about the product she serves. Everyman’s logo is actually her knucle tattoos. That being said, Everyman Espresso has got the goods for the discerning customer, but not quite the service for the “every-man.”

Everyman Espresso (site) ★★★★☆
136 E 13th St (between 3rd Ave & 4th Ave) map
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village, Union Square

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