Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 4:29AM
On a tip from Paper and String, I ambled into Kava Café in the Far West Village one morning after Snowpocalypse Part 8,031. I was in search of some good, strong, snow-melting coffee.
I was immediately greeted by Christian and Frank, two of Kava's knowledgeable and friendly barristas, dressed in matching black fedoras and skinny ties with crisp white oxford shirts. Christian, a coffee-brewing artisan, demonstrated the power and beauty of their La Marzocco espresso machine, a nine-gage (or speed), Ferrari-caliber engine that controls flavor and strength.
Christian served me a latte adorned with an elaborate milk-swirled leaf – almost too pretty to drink. Almost. As I sipped away at my cup of drinkable velvet – the perfect caffeinated balance of bitter and smooth with just a touch of froth – I was introduced to owner John Saric.
John explained some additions to eagerly anticipate at Kava, including a beer and wine selection, flavor profile-based coffee tastings (like wine flights just with coffee) curated by Christian, a gelato machine (internal, mental squeals on my part), and expanding the food menu (right now they offer a selection of Balthazar pastries and a panini menu).
I stood at the walk-up bar (stools are forthcoming, but I appreciated the European flair of the standing bar) and watched as customers sauntered in, chatting with the barristas, John and among themselves. Open only about two weeks, Kava already has a loyal band of regulars. They can now count me among them.
803 Washington Street
Check out the feature article in the New York Times Magazine here.