Happy National Coffee Day! Yes, there really is a National Coffee Day. Good job, America.
The weather today has been overcast and pretty chilly – perfect weather to curl up in a coffee shop and get some homework done. I walked to one of my favorite Upper West Side hubs, Aroma Espresso Bar (72nd between Amsterdam and Columbus). Aroma is actually one of the most successful coffee chains in Israel (over 90 branches) and has 4 NYC locations (UWS, Tribeca, Midtown, and SoHo), as well as shops in Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey.
The shop is bright and modern, with hip black and white decor and red leather chairs. The UWS location is unique in that it has two floors (1st: tables and coffee bar, 2nd: couches and study tables) as well as a deck for outdoor seating. The coffee shop/café serves up delicious food in addition to coffee. We’re talking gourmet fresh salads, incredible sandwiches, homemade soups, and warm baked pastries. I’ve eaten at Aroma before and would definitely recommend:
- Muesli w/ yogurt, honey, and fresh berries
- Warm garbanzo salad
- Tomato soup (with a side of nutty whole grain bread)
And now to their world famous coffee:
Coffee is a top priority at Aroma. We import fine Arabic beans from Africa which have a delicate, slightly sweet taste and a rich aroma. They are roasted and sent fresh to all branches where they are ground on-site just before use to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
I ordered the life-changing Aroma Coffee: Start with two short shots of espresso and aroma pralines, add steamed milk, and top with a scoop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Life. Changing. (hot or iced)
I carefully carried the large mug of chocolatey goodness upstairs and claimed my spot on one of the black leather couches. Aroma Espresso Bar offers customers free WiFi (inside or outside) and while the first floor is a bit noisy, the second floor is a great spot to study, read, or finish that essay that’s due on Monday.
I found the coffee mild but flavorful. My Aroma Coffee was deliciously creamy (even with skim milk). I will be sure to order it “extra hot” next time because it’s the kind of drink you want to savor as you’re studying. Oh, and the best part is finishing your drink and scooping up the melted Aroma chocolate that’s melted at the bottom of your mug. Delish!
Perks (besides coffee…pun intended) at Aroma Espresso Bar:
- Like I mentioned earlier, free WiFi.
- Outdoor seating (on the deck behind the restaurant rather than on the busy, noisy street) with umbrella-covered tables.
- Live music on Thursday nights.
- It’s a franchise. Dear California Bay Area, please open an Aroma. Thank you.
- You can order online for pick-up or delivery.
- Promotions! (ex. Half-off pastries everyday after 9pm. Perfect late-night study spot!)
- Each drink or meal is served with a delectable signature Aroma chocolate.
Verdict? Aroma Espresso Bar is the perfect spot to study. The coffee and food are amazing, they have free wireless Internet, and the shop is comfortable but not so cozy that you’ll doze off (especially because your Aroma Coffee has 2 espresso shots in it!). So go celebrate National Coffee Day by visiting an Aroma Espresso Bar…and finish up that essay while you’re at it!