coffee.: A One and One GEM, New York

phone down

If you come here you’re going to want to put your phone down, that is after you can’t stop picking it up to do what sharers do : document.

When you come here, time might just stand still, still like you’re taught it never can stand, when you’re young, like how you’re also taught that the sun sets, when you’re young, except it doesn’t – it revolves.

Come here and you’ll find someone’s living room, maybe even a version of yours which is what the team behind Gem,  have built half of their hopes upon.

That hope is anchored with tangible decor: midcentury wood chairs, one living room sized area rug, deep blue sea scarfs accenting selected backs of chairs. And then, there’s the thriving Calamondin tree standing obediently in the corner as you’ll wait in one of three seating options to be served, as Director of Coffee Elliot Foos  expressed sitting crosslegged with intermittent gestures of moving his longer strand hairs out of his face and toward the rear of his head, “its time coffee grew up, people want great service and great coffee.”

A little adulting I do not mind.

Being here with a one and one – two shots of espresso – one as a stand-alone and the other as a shot with foam on top aka a macchiato – I’m led to not move beyond my now memory which is here, where a woman decides to place a book underneath a potted plant; where a framed photo on the wall above me signals that someone intended for this one image to hang here; where a nook of a coffee bar, whose espresso machine still had grinds in it from its previous owners, now serves me coffee from Ethiopia – the biggest living room for such a beverage if we can call a country such.
The espresso was cranberry forward with squirts of tangelo, floating basil, floating because it felt like this resting herb up top somehow allowed its savory quality to seep downward.

Then, when I took on the macchiato, the cranberry slid into a plum, underneath a citrus foam. My nose fell forward for a sip and it was if a clap of the herb between two hands combusted into the atmosphere making my experience like surround sound. I don’t want to be a kid right now.