posted 2012-10-05 22:38:45

The Coffee Grind

The chill thrills me when it comes to coffee 

Apneet Kaur

Features Editor

Olso's coffee growler. Photo by Apneet Kaur.
Known as a summertime staple to most, iced coffee is a pleasure I enjoy all year round regardless of if I’m sweating or not. Some people prefer that cozy feeling of a hot cup of something good when the temperature drops, but there’s nothing better than sipping on a cool cup of java. Around Hunter, there are plenty of places to caffeinate between classes, but all iced coffee is not the same! Don’t be fooled by those who simply pour hot coffee into a cup full of ice. A cold brewed cup is different from the aforementioned example because there is less “bite” and acidity. Some innovative shops even put iced coffee cubes in their cups to prevent the drink from getting diluted. Iced coffee is more than just a cold fix, its a ritual.

Gotham Cafe 

1298 Second Ave between 68th and 69th 

Skip the cafeteria coffee and crowded indoor seating area by our local Starbucks cafe in the West Lobby and make your way down to Gotham cafe for a roomy interior, and lunch with coffee. This spacious shop is steps away from Hunter’s campus, and provides wifi access to all customers.

A small cup of iced coffee is $2.75, and they brew a house blend called the “Gotham blend”. Iced coffee is naturally less bitter than its steaming counterpart, but Gotham’s brew had a slightly bitter taste. Other than that the coffee has a strong and robust flavor with an undertone of unsweetened caramel. The coffee sold at Gotham Cafe comes from Irving Farms, who grow and roast their coffee all on their farm in upstate New York. This shop also boasts a full lunch menu with items ranging from soups, salads and sandwiches priced from $4.39 to $7.99.

One thing to note about this shop is that they supply liquid sugar at their condiment bar along with ground sugar. Granulated sugar doesn’t sit well with iced coffee as it doesn’t dissolve, which leaves your drink unsweetened while you sip gulps of sugar. For the iced coffee obsessed, sweet syrup is a must.

Gotham Cafe is a fitting destination for a pick-me-up because of its two short avenues from Hunter. If you have a long break between classes it is the perfect place to bring your laptop and take advantage of the wifi and get some work done or simply relax and enjoy your coffee.

Oslo

422 E 75th St between 1st and York 

Oslo, who also serve their craft coffee at two other locations in Brooklyn, is the premier Upper East Side destination for a perfectly balanced iced coffee if you’re willing to make the hike away from Hunter to get it..

A small cup of iced coffee is $2.75. The coffee flavor itself is so refreshing and well balanced it hardly needs cream or sugar. It is lighter in flavor than Gotham Cafe’s interpretation, and there isn’t a hint of bitterness to be found. At the condiment bar you will also find liquid sugar, granulated sugar and honey if you want to top off your cup with a sweet note. A small selection of pastries and muffins is also offered, and will cost you the same amount as a cup of iced coffee. If you’re in love with this coffee as much as I am, you can take home what Oslo calls a “Growler”. It’s a jug of their cold brew that will run you $23 and serves eight cups.

The beans used to make the cold brews are ordered “green”, meaning the beans are bought raw and the shop roasts the beans at their Williamsburg warehouse, then transports the beans to be brewed in-house on the Upper East Side. Oslo routinely changes up the bean selection for their iced coffee, but they exclusively use single origin beans for the chilled java. Single origin beans come from only one country, whereas four different beans are used to make their hot drip coffees, combining beans from different countries for different flavors.

Though Oslo is quite a trek from Hunter College, it is completely worth the trip. Unfortunately the shop is pocket-sized so there isn’t room to sit down and enjoy your drink, but it’s nice company for your walk back to Hunter.