86 E. 7th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-388-9731
Even with Starbucks’ retrenching, there’s no denying we’re living in an intensely caffeinated moment. Indie shops with rock-star baristas continue to open at a heart-quickening rate, and no one thinks twice about dropping eleven grand on a newfangled high-tech machine like the Clover, the bean fiend’s latest status symbol. Ironically, our favorite cup of coffee at the moment comes from a comparatively rudimentary contraption, the individual filter setup at Abraço, where Bay Area transplant Jamie McCormick grinds the beans (from North Carolina’s Counter Culture Coffee) and brews each cup to order, straight into your mug. As you might expect, the à la minute treatment yields java that’s brighter and fresher than other drips around town (and his artful espresso drinks are none too shabby either). But that’s not enough for McCormick, who plans to start roasting his own beans in the near future.