- READER REVIEWS
Empire Coffee and Tea Company
Mon-Fri, 7:30am-7pm; Sat, 9am–6:30pm; Sun 10am-6pm
Nearby Subway Stops
A, C, E at 42nd St.-Port Authority Bus Terminal
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Caffeine junkies strong enough to resist the ubiquitous siren call of Starbucks must have a secret supplier: Empire Coffee and Tea is the one that beckons in Hell’s Kitchen. Selling same since 1908 on Manhattan’s original gourmet strip, Empire scoops out more than 70 varieties of whole beans from open burlap sacks and offers at least 30 loose black, green, and herbal teas, as well as bagged and loose U.K. imports like PG Tips. The owners roast their own beans upstate, so expect smart, assertive help from sales folk, despite the ramshackle décor. A wide range of coffeemakers and ceramics are also available, and the lattes, espressos, and specialty cups are killer. Some tasty snackables are here, too, as is wi-fi for those who want to dawdle over a cuppa while eyeing Ninth Avenue traffic.