Friday, September 07, 2012

1067 Coffee Break

1067 Coffee Break

Sandy has hung a giant poster of a Keurig machine in the window of his coffee shop on 59th St on the east side.

But when you go in for a cup, there’s no evidence of an actual machine.

On the wall, however, is another large poster, kind of like a menu.

It lists such exotic varieties as Kenyan Highlands, Sumatran Lake Tawar and Tully’s Breakfast Blend.  There must be 200 different kinds of coffee on the poster.  Gourmet stuff.

A customer asks Sandy for a cup of Kenyan AA Extra Bold.   Sandy goes the urn which has been sitting against the east wall of this place since the invention of boiled water and draws a cup.  “Let me know how you like it.”

Down the end of the counter, a woman:  “Hey, Sandy, I want to try the Newman’s Own Fair Trade Vanilla Caramel.”  Sandy ambles over to the same urn, draws a cup, puts it down before the customer and says “let me know how you like it.

So ask the obvious question:  How do you get two radically different kinds of coffee out of the same urn less than a minute apart.

Sandy says he doesn’t.  He gets the same stuff from the wholesaler Gillies in Brooklyn which has been doing bulk coffee for restaurants since two years after the wall urn was installed.  That’s what he serves, and that’s all he serves.

False advertising?

“Notice any prices on all those exotic things?  No.  There are none.  We don’t have any of them.  We just have our usual 59th St. Blend which is exactly the same as my brother Juan’s 86th St. Blend, but with a different label.  Gillies does that for you, if you want.  Same stuff. Different bag.”

“What about the Keurig machine poster in the window?”
“Oh, my guys know we can’t use those here.  They’re no good for the kind of volume we do.  In fact, they’re no good for anything over 30, 40 cups a day.  I’d be replacing the machine every ten minutes.”

“So all of this is just decoration and comeon?”

“Yeah.  So what?”

This is a pretty nose-in-the-air neighborhood.  It’s right off Park.  Sandy says “people here like the atmosphere.  It’s classy.  But this ain’t Starbucks.  Around here, ‘special reserve’ means the bag was torn when we got it.”

Air cured coffee.

Shrapnel:

--Do New York Taxi fares confuse you with all those add ons and special fees and geographic restrictions.  Get ready for more.  The fares and some of the fees went up the other day, but the drivers don’t have to start charging them until the 30th, which means some cabs will cost the old fares until then, but others won’t.

--What would Reagan say about Mark Wolf whom he appointed to the federal bench in Boston?  Judge Wolf has ruled that the government must pay for a sex change operation he says is needed by M. Koselik, born a man, living as a woman in an all male prison and serving a life sentence for murdering his wife in 1990.  Talk about your welfare queen!

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2012

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