Friday, April 3, 2009

The Great Virtues of the Cafe au Lait

It was in high school that I became addicted to coffee. I blame my mother, though I suspect I always harbored a latent love and appreciation for coffee which, perhaps, she only nourished.

One of my first forays into the world of coffee was at Starbucks. I loved the caramel macchiato. Regardless of your feelings about this corporate coffeehouse I do think it is a good place to introduce a budding coffee-drinker to coffee. Frappuccinos, macchiatos, mochaccinos (misnomers galore!) are quite popular among the younger set and provide a less intimidating option to the doppio espresso, let’s say.

These days, the café au lait is my drink of choice. It’s not very expensive—a medium to large café au lait usually hovers around $2, which I think is quite good, especially when we’re talking about the Upper East Side. Also, the café au lait allows for great variety in coffee drinking since you can use different daily blends as the base of the ever-versatile CAFÉ AU LAIT.

There are two coffee shops where I have found satisfactory café au laits so far. One is Corrado Bread & Pastry and the other is Oren’s Daily Roast. In the beginning, I preferred Oren’s for my morning coffee, which one should take care not to interpret as a testament to their superiority over Corrado. There is a cute boy who works at Oren’s. He also lives off the G train. Lately, though, I prefer Corrado—for a few reasons:

It’s less cramped than Oren’s.
I prefer the cups. They are white and crisp looking and do not have a logo.
It is perfectly located on the way to work and is usually the more time expedient choice when I am late. Which I often am.
The coffee is a bit stronger at Oren’s. This sometimes works in Oren’s favor.
Corrado has a much better pastry selection as it is more like a café than a coffee shop. I love their coconut macaroons.

According to the Wikipedia, café au lait is inexplicably referred to as “misto” at Starbucks. In case you were wondering.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I have been missing the more "cafe" style culture while I'm in London, but I have been able to find a few places I like. Paris was the best, but that kind of goes without saying, dunnit?

    Nice review!