September 12, 2011

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in NYC

LA-based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf came to Manhattan this summer, and with all the buzz you'd have thought we'd never had a coffee shop before! I waited for the lines to stop wrapping around the block before giving it a shot (yes, this East Coaster still hasn't made it out to LA yet).

One sunny gorgeous September morning I wandered past the shop and hopped inside. I thought I'd have a minute to browse the store, but a young woman with a notepad chirped "Can I take your drink order?" before I knew what hit me. Man, they push you right through!
I had checked in on Foursquare and saw my friend Sara's tip (Sara of NYCNomNom fame) to order the iced coffee with no-sugar-added chocolate powder. Like a mocha with less sugar/guilt. That's what I ordered, and I was herded on over to the register and past the piles of pastry.

I was going to order the raspberry "clawssiant," (sic--should be "aint"--I know, I can't help myself!) but the server convinced me that the chocolate was sooooo much better. I was skeptical but figured I'd go with it.

What do you think of the random Wall of Glam? Odd, but pretty. Something to stare at while waiting for a drink!

They definitely are not messing around with the line. I was in, ordering, paying, and then waiting for my drink in a matter of seconds. I didn't have to wait that long, but I still definitely felt super rushed.

I grabbed some outdoor public seating right outside and tried the drink--tasty, but not out of this world. It reminds me of a drink I've had somewhere else but can't quite place. Good, just not lifechanging.

The clawssiant, however, was a total letdown. It looks pretty, sure, but yuck. It had a heavy hint of cinnamon, the chocolate was kind of chalky, and it was just not worth it--I threw the rest of it in the trash. Bleah.

Was the coffee good? Yeah. Is it worth going out of your way? Not just yet for me. I'll probably go back in a bit and get some of their coffee beans, which I hear are their specialty. In the meantime, what do YOU like about "The Bean?" Give me some delicious things to try on the next visit!

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
1412 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

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