Sigh–summer's languorous days are almost over. Whether you're headed back to school or just your personal grindstone, you probably need a good cup of coffee to help you get where you're going.
Luckily Harlem's coffee scene is booming, and the scent of freshly ground coffee is spreading block by block. Already, three stylish new spots have opened this year, and two more will be debuting in the fall.
With a passion for java and community as their common inspiration, these warm, creative spaces each offer their own unique take on the urban coffee shop.
Herewith, the full list.
Shuteye Coffee (opened April)
137 W 116th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd and Lenox Ave
Opened five months ago by business partners Joe Vannucchi and Guy Samuelson, this narrow, spare-but-for-the-potted-plants coffee bar on 116th Street isn't afraid to put a twist on your typical cup of joe. A Colombian cold-brew might be topped with a fresh strawberry, while other recent concoctions include an espresso horchata and an iced matcha tonic.
Dear Mama Coffee at Columbia University (coffee cart launched in May, full space to open September 26)
Jerome L. Greene Science Center, 3227 Broadway between W 129th and W 130th Sts
Serving Devocion coffee and delectable homemade pastries, Dear Mama's chic mobile coffee cart debuted inside the Jerome L. Greene Science Center in May and acted as the East Harlem coffee shop's first footprint in West Harlem. A much larger space is now under construction right behind the cart and is due to open on September 26, the same day as Columbia University's new Forum building across the street. Coffee and pastries will come first, followed in October by two separate bars offering cocktails, bites and live jazz.
Common Good Harlem (opened end of July)
2801 Frederick Douglass Blvd at 149th St
The first Harlem coffee shop to serve La Colombe coffee (including the Philadelphia roaster's deliciously creamy draft lattes), this corner space is run by former event planner Karina Paz-Oshiro and her husband, Dalen Oshiro. The serene, cozy vibe and delicious homemade cookies make it a perfect urban oasis.
The Monkey Cup 2 (opened mid-August)
1965 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd between 118th and 119th Sts
It's been three years since Venezuelan husband-and-wife team Laura and Alfredo Tinoco first opened the Monkey Cup, their jungle-inspired cafe in Hamilton Heights. Building off of its success, this summer they debuted a second branch some 20 blocks south. Here you'll find the same charming leafy ceiling and tree-as-bookshelf, only in a much larger space. And in about a month, the shop will be serving hot arepas, Venezuela's classic stuffed corn cakes.
Plowshares Coffee (opening this fall)
1351 Amsterdam Avenue between 125th and 126th Sts
Located in Manhattanville's burgeoning Factory District, the second branch of this boutique coffee roaster is still under construction. But once it opens, the L-shaped space will have a roomy cafe facing Amsterdam Avenue and a roastery looking onto 126th Street. Head to Plowshares' Instagram account for the latest updates.