WRITTEN BY JACINTA STEWART
This review was first published in September 2016 and we are taking a look back at how AWNY’s Jacinta Stewart fell in love with Taylor St. Baristas, the location for the upcoming Aussie Writers in New York panel on September 6, 2018.
A big congratulations to the Aussie sibling trio on the opening of their first cafe/ restaurant in the USA, following success in London. And where better to strike a spark than here in the Big Apple?
Nick, Andrew and Laura grew up on Taylor Street in Sydney – hence the namesake. Later on in life their family migrated to London and, while there, they shared a common quest to find “Australian quality” coffee in the UK. This search turned out to be a surprising challenge and inspired them to team together and open their own coffee bar in the back of a supermarket store. It was a huge success and they were soon to launch out on their own . They currently celebrate nine Taylor St. locations throughout London.
Their friend and partner Richard Shaer is ensuring the New York chapter is a success with his passion for the company and personal conviction that genuine warmth and hospitality are essential ingredients.
I first heard about Taylor St. when the lovely Gemma Collins posted a request for submissions for Australian artists for the cafe on Facebook before they had even paddled across the pond. It is always so encouraging when a fellow Aussie offers support like this. Of course, as an artist based in New York, I jumped at the opportunity and set up a time to meet Gemma just two days after I had returned from a Summer vacation in Florence. I only mention this because my head was still spinning from the exquisite eating experience that had been part of my everyday in Italy for the previous 2 weeks so, needless to say, my expectations were high and they were more than met.
After a beaming welcome from Gemma and a quick tour of available wall space for art, I was escorted upstairs to the mezzanine level which hosts a full service kitchen and serves an à la carte menu. Individual tables circle two longer, wooden communal tables and I chose the latter. Hospitality abounds here and as soon as I could blink I was offered a beverage choice and the menu.
Those who know me well know that I am a sucker for a decent “Brekkie Sanga”. This sandwich menu item read: eggs, smoked cheddar, bacon, and roast tomato. I couldn’t resist. Needless to say it has nudged its way into my number one brekkie sanga vote of all time.
After my first bite, and as if to read my mind, Gemma inquired if I would like to spice it up a little and voila – a housemade concoction called Trini Hot Sauce made by the general manager herself, Damaris from Trinidad, was on offer. It was pitch perfect adding a zing that brings excitement without dominating the other subtle flavors. As I devoured this I took note of each enticing plate pouring out from the kitchen.
On my next visit, I will choose between “The Tower”, avocado smash on toast with smoked salmon, poached eggs and lemon; or the “Meatball Sandwich” with preserved lemon and yogurt. For those with a sweeter tooth, the “Ricotta Hotcakes” with pickled and fresh strawberries looked divine. Quite frankly I could work my way through the entire menu and I might just do that!
This cafe was put together with care and thought. An eclectic collection of handpicked antique sugar bowls adorn each table with small glass vases housing wild sprigs. The attention to detail is evident and the design chic, yet I still have the feeling that I am sitting in someone’s home kitchen. After chatting with Richard further, I discover that this feeling is an intentional aim of the team. Regulars know the baristas by name and Taylor St. offers every fifth coffee for free, served in the Aussie spirit of “It’s the end of the week mate, have one on the house” as opposed to a formal loyalty tick box feel.
So let’s rally behind this dynamic team and stop by for a treat – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. They are open Monday to Friday 7am to 5pm. Don’t forget to download their app and enjoy your first coffee as a welcome pressie.
The ultimate guide to Australian Coffee Shops in NYC
Taylor St. Baristas is included the AWNY guide to Australian coffee shops in NYC, and amongst a passionate network bringing the Aussie coffee culture to NYC.
Featured image photo credit: Taylor St. Madison Instagram