New York B.S. (Before Starbuck’s)

Over at’s food blog I’ve got a tribute up to Cafe Bustelo.

In 1991, when I arrived to New York from San Francisco, this coffee was the coffee I saw in the homes of the people I met—ambitious, smart young artists, writers and activists who didn’t have a lot of money. It was the coffee served in the bodegas around the East Village and Brooklyn, for example, though it seemed the more I traveled the city, the more I found it everywhere. And it is still in those same kitchens and stores– it really is the coffee of New York.


  1. This makes me wistful for coffee. Every era and place and mood has its coffee for me; Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, Peets in 1992 Berkeley, Blue Bottle in 2009 San Francisco, instant Nescafe in 1980s Seoul (maybe still). I don’t drink coffee anymore, but I’d love a whiff of Cafe Bustelo. Lovely piece, Alex.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s