Archive for the ‘Cafe’ Category

Eat: Svenska Brothers Open Tribeca Coffee House, Kaffe 1668


kafsm4Nestled amid the impersonal buildings of lower Greenwich Street that sport corporate neon signs for Whole Foods, Bank of America and T-Mobile, is Kaffe 1668. It’s a cozy coffee shop opened in October 2009 by Swedish twin brothers Tomas and Mikael Tjarnberg.

“This neighborhood needed a good coffee shop,” said Mikael Tjarnberg, sitting next to an equally tall and skinny Tomas, both of whom live about three minutes away from Kaffe 1668. On a recent Sunday afternoon, jazz played on the sound system, smells of brewing Ethiopian blends filled the air and nearly every seat was filled by young families, couples or people working on their laptops taking advantage of the free WiFi. Mikael continued, “We wanted to create a very high quality place with a focus on good coffee: fresh kafsm2beans, good roasters, and a nice environment as well.” Kaffe 1668 serves single brewed cups of coffees from a revolving roster of Direct Trade (better than Fair Trade) beans that might originate in El Salvador or Rwanda. Kaffe 1668 also serves a full array of espresso drinks and tea.

“We take our tea very seriously,” added Tomas, all of which can be smelled prior to purchase at the clever, magnetized “Tea Sniffing Station.” Kaffe 1668 also carries an impressive selection of baked goods including Swedish Chocolate Balls, all made daily by manager Aya Nakanura. Tomas explained that “kaffe” is “coffee” in Swedish, and “1668” is the year that coffee became New York City’s favorite breakfast beverage according to some history books, overtaking beer.kafsheep

Kaffe 1668 has a definite northern European feel, but it’s not obviously Swedish, except for a few discretely placed elk-shaped items and the not so discrete abundance of wooden, woolly sheep, ranging in size from a toy to a rocking horse. “This is new,” stated Tomas, referring to the sheep—some arranged in clusters, others hidden in nooks—that have multiplied in the past three months, “it’s a little excessive.” Mikael, the sheep-buying enthusiast of the two brothers, mentioned that eight more sheep are currently in transit from Sweden.

Kaffe 1668
275 Greenwich Street (near Murray Street)
212 693 3750
Weekdays: 6:30am to 9pm
Weekends: 8am to 9pm