East Villagers seem to have found the ideal nexus of performing arts and coffee, fusing two of Manhattan’s primary passions to form Everyman Espresso. The café opened about five years ago in the concrete floored lobby of Classic Stage Company. The establishment has gone through a series of owners, and Sam Penix seems to be the owner that’s built to last, as he recently expanded the Everyman concept to trendy SoHo.
Penix is so hardcore about espresso that he has a tattoo on his knuckles that reads I [demitasse] NY. Local publications immortalized the image and it even made it on to mugs.
A barista pulled my Espresso ($3) on a two-group Synesso using Counter Culture’s Toscano blend. The shot was on the bitter-acidic side of the triangle, whose other point is “sweet.”
They brewed Ecuador El Gavilan ($3) Japanese style in a Fetco batch brewer, dripping the coffee directly over ice, resulting in a rich, sweet cup that didn’t need any simple syrup.
The fridge read, “At Everyman, we are committed to serving LOCAL MILK! It costs twice as much. It’s also 1000 times tastier.” They source Battenkill Valley Creamery milk, for the record.
We ran into another coffee pro during our visit, and he said that Counter Culture points people to Everyman Espresso to see their coffee with best practices. It was clear that the baristas were taking the coffee seriously. It will be interesting to see what Penix comes up with in SoHo, since his initial operation is pretty bare bones, and SoHo tends to expect higher design.