Free Coffee? HELL YEAH

Novelty in New York is fleeting. Culture here sours more quickly than last week’s yogurt, so to respond to the distracted attentions of its citizens, the city has an answer: pop-up restaurants. These spurious little eateries appear unbidden in temporary spaces like art galleries to create exposure for a new product or chef without the full financial risk of opening a new restaurant. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: chefs and companies get great exposure and customers get a fresh experience and, more often than not, some free fare. Obviously, Silver Spork is all about that.

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On the way to our day-long tasting at the International Culinary Center (thanks again, HonestCooking.com!), we made a pit stop at Gevalia Kaffe, NYC’s newest and most temporary coffee experience. Set up in a former subway station, the space was brightly lit and minimalist, meant to draw attention to the free coffee being served out of large silver carafes. Handsome young men in dandelion-yellow shirts doled out hot and iced coffee to interested customers, and we were some of the first in line to step out of the rain and sample the brew.

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Though we only just learned about Gevalia Kaffe, they’ve been on their coffee game for over 150 years, peddling roasts all the way from Sweden that promise to be “rich, but never bitter.” We can safely say that they’ve succeeded in that regard. Particular highlights included their iced medium roast with soymilk and the subtle flavors of their darkest blend, which was nuanced but never overpowering. The coffee tasted even better in the clean, spacious pop-up space, which completely succeeded in making us feel like we were exclusive and important (a rare sensation in this city of millions which never fails to make you feel anonymous).

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In short, if you ever spot a pop-up coffee shop or restaurant on the street, take a minute to dip inside and see what the fuss is about. The free offering alone was enough enticement for these Silver Spork staffers operating on shoestring budgets, but the feeling of being part of something that could disappear again at any moment is thrilling, like catching lightning in your hand.

What did we think of the talented chefs of Blenheim Restaurant who showed us how to make butter along with some crazy other surprises? Spoiler: the live animals blew us away. Check back with us tomorrow for the full scoop.

Post and Photos by Bailey James.

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