In NYC, coffee plays a predominantly practical role: to wake you up from the depths of your slumber (or lack thereof) and allow you to be functional throughout your workday. There are no lack of avenues to get your caffeine fix; from carts to bodegas to chains, you can get it quite easily. And that's what coffee was to me for a long time: a tool to wake up and clear the cobwebs. As a father of two young, active boys, the necessity of caffeine is amplified even further. But it wasn't until two of my close friends started home-roasting coffee 5 years ago that I began to enjoy the beverage for its taste as much as its function. Good coffee beans that haven't been over-roasted or poorly prepared can be enjoyed black, and can taste more like wine than burnt cigarettes. And I can't overemphasize the vitality a 15-minute cup of coffee alone can bring you when you're juggling spousehood, parenthood and a full-time career.
Below are five of my favorite coffee shops in NYC. I'm not objectively saying that they're the best, but they're ones that I enjoy.