New Kid on the Block: Birch Coffee

Good morning! There’s a new coffee shop in town: the 13th location of the local chain Birch Coffee. And I wouldn’t have expected to buy a birthday present there, but it turns out the CFO Jesse Pape is a potter, and his mugs are really lovely and nice to hold.

As a result, I don’t know what’s cuter, the mugs or the handknit coffee cup cozies made by one of the founder’s mother OR the Bazooka coffee — roasted to be reminiscent of the roast profile used when Bazooka was founded 75 years ago. But as the manager, Wes, and I were noting (be sure to say hi when you go in) that was a lot of cuteness for 7:30 on a Saturday morning.

Birch founders Jeremy Lyman and Paul Schlader met in a 12-step program in 2005 and opened their first coffee shop in 2009 with $10k, cashing in a premature bond from Jeremy’s bar mitzvah. Now we are the 12th location in the city, including one on Spruce Street plus one in Seoul. (When I ran my papers in Hunts Point, they opened a coffee shop there, which was very cool of them, but alas it didn’t make it.)

When they met, Lyman was processing loans for a mortgage company and Schlader had moved to the city from Minnesota to pursue an acting career while bartending at Heartland Brewery. In a feature in 2016, CNBC estimated that the business was worth $10 to 15 million.

They roast their beans (sourced from all over the planet, though the drip is Guatemalan) in Long Island City and sell them whole in the shops. (They will grind for you.) They are known for their cold brew, which has its own tap at the counter. Also it struck me that a $3 coffee is a good deal, but I leave it to you regular drinkers to determine that. My litmus test: they serve in ceramic cups.

There’s a seasonal flavor (right now it’s an orange and cream latte); the Red Eye is a popular order (drip coffee with a shot of espresso); an herbal iced tea is very bright and flavorful — it’s called Toasted Almond but it tastes like apple and cinnamon even unsweetened; and of course they have all the milks, including hemp. There’s the usual array of pastries but I really liked these Lenka granola bars — chewy and fresh — that I had never seen before. And I applaud the almost no plastic offerings in the cold case. The cold brew and the iced teas come in glass growlers.

The aesthetic is great, with cement skim-coated walls and Moroccan tiles, but no seating yet. There is a bar at the window, where you can watch the world go by.

And finally on the cuteness overload: they have a lending library! Take what you want. They accept donations.

136 Church | Warren and Murray
Every day 7:30a – 4p
Phone 212.686.1444
Text 929.374.3594


1 Comment

  1. The sign is up for a new Birch Coffee location at the Fulton Center as well.