Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trends in Your Mouth: Lukewarm coffee

We know what you're thinking. It's a nice day, maybe the mid-afternoon. You want some coffee, but you don't necessarily want hot coffee. At the same time, iced coffee sounds so, you know, "Starbucks." That's why a few select coffee shops in Manhattan have started serving lukewarm coffee drinks, known simply as simply "lukes."

"We start with our finest siphon-dripped Ethiopian Yergacheffe coffee, and then we let it sit on the prep counter for like an hour," says Ethan Nostrum of Burt's Beans on West 37th. "It gets down to a balmy temperature, which kind of makes it a little bit gritty. It's disgusting. You have to try it."

Other shops take a different approach. Cafe Spitz on 5th Ave. uses the cold brew process, in which beans are steeped for 16 hours in cold water, filtered, and then microwaved to order for about 20 seconds.

"We find the cold brew flavor is essential to good coffee, and then we pretty much ruin it with the whole microwaving thing," proprietor Dave Necktat says of Spitz's luking process. "But fuckin' Burt's started doing it so we had to do something to stay competitive."

Look for luked coffee to come to a shop near you soon. Or just let your hot (or iced) coffee sit on your desk for a couple hours.