If you love good cup of coffee, Hugh Jackman, and using your money for good cause, then this is the coffee shop to visit! Many says that they have the best coffee, latte, and espresso in NYC, and I might just agree with that, and that is coming from a non coffee lover. Yes, I am more of a tea lover, but I do appreciate a good cup of coffee. And here, I had THE best Flat White, ever.
However, I must warn you, the inside is super small. I heard it was small, but upon visiting, I was surprised of how small it really was. There is no seating, other than small bench by the small window, and that is mostly used for people who are waiting for the coffee anyways. It gets packed after a handful of people in there. But it is worth the wait in the crowded, tiny little space. It also has lots of coffee beans, tea, mugs, and other things sold here, if you were interested in brewing your own coffee at home, you can grab a bag of coffee beans and try it at home.
They have a huge black board behind the cashier/barista counter, and I hear they usually have interesting art/writing on it with chalk. When we visited around the Mother’s Day, they had “Happy Mother’s Day” projected on it instead. And, of course, a little note from Hugh that recommends you to try his favorite, Flat White. I assume the message was written by someone else, but regardless, he really does recommend their Flat White.
So, what is the story behind it? Well, it is quite incredible and amazing. Story goes that Hugh and his wife visited Ethiopia, and they met a young coffee farmer named Dukale. Hugh was inspired by Dukale’s story and his coffee, he opened up this coffee shop in NYC with his frinds 5 years ago. You can find a coffee bean bag named “Dukale’s Dream, with whom all began” on the shelf. And most incredible part of all of this is that Hugh donates all his profits to the Laughing Man Foundation.
What does Laughing Man Foundation do? Here are few things they do:
Creating a curriculum to teach students, here and abroad, about social entrepreneurship, value chains of products, and market based solutions.
Funding of World Vision health, education and small business projects for farmers like Dukale and their families throughout the Kochore region of Ethiopia.
Improving health standards for women and children in rural Ethiopia by providing access to clean cookstoves and medical supplies.
You can learn more about them here: http://laughingmanfoundation.org/
They sound great, but how was the coffee, anyways? Well, let me tell you, they are super delicious! We got Hugh’s favorite, Flat White, and a special of the day, White Chocolate Lavender Mocha. If you are not familiar with Flat White, it is a beverage that originated in Australia, yes, where our beloved Huge is from. It is prepared by pouring microfoam (kind of steamed milk) over a single or double shot of espresso. I’ve had Flat White in the past, but none of them were this good. It was smooth, velvety, deep in aroma and flavor. It costs around $4 (I didn’t get the exact price), but it was totally worth it! Now I have more than one thing to thank Australia for; Hugh and Flat White (and Koala).
The Lavender Mocha had that herbal aroma to it, without the taste being too strong. It had hint of lavender flavor, just enough to appreciate it. The white chocolate made it a bit sweet, but not too much. It was again, very smooth, awesome cup of coffee.
They also have some baked goods here, but I am not sure how good they are… This is a serious coffee place, so unless you are really hungry, I say stick with the coffee. If you really want something to bite from there, then go right ahead and let me know how those taste.
Even though the coffee shop itself is tiny, but during the warm-hot months, there are nice wooden benches and tables with artificial grass, which is a really nice setting. So, if you are in a mood for one of the best White Flat, head over to Laughing Man. You might even see him there, as I heard he visits often. I was not lucky enough, but I will go back for more of their awesome coffee, with or without Hugh.
Laughing Man Coffee & Tea – 184 Duane St, New York, NY 10013