Good Food

Friday, January 11, 2013

Foodie-approved: Kaffe 1668 debuts culinary cold-pressed juices

Kaffe 1668 juices

(Photo: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)

 

Tribeca’s go-to coffee shop, Kaffe 1668, officially debuted its extensive menu of juices this week, and the carefully-crafted concoctions are fit for a foodie.

It’s further proof that juicing is now so mainstream that culinary brands are adding taste-dictated flourishes, where formerly there was only kale for kale’s sake. Maury Rubin at City Bakery recently strayed from pretzel croissants and cookies to cold-pressing fennel and purslane into juices. Apotheke’s Heather Tierney is creating cocktail-inspired juices with fresh herb infusions at The Butcher’s Daughter. And we expect there’s a very delicious reason behind why Equinox tapped Danny Meyer for its new Creative Juice cafes.

At Kaffe 1668, the 15-juice menu includes a ton of variety and unexpected ingredients, with unique combos that have foodie flair. And they’re already already flying off the shelves at the rate of 80+ a day. (It looks like Tribeca, which has previously been a juice desert, is appreciating the new offerings.)

Through lots of old-fashioned research and testing, Kaffe created the blends on its own, rather than bringing in a juice mixologist or chef. “The goal was to take healthy flavors and balance them so that they’d be really delicious. We didn’t have to compromise on either element,” says general manager Daniel Torres. “The entire staff was involved in tasting them, and the baristas have really amazing palates.”

We did our own taste test so we could share some of our favorites:

The Big Salad dresses up its greens with sea salt, a dash of olive oil, and the most intense cayenne kick we’ve ever experienced in a juice.

The Amazing Kale isn’t an exaggeration. Kaffe adds just enough pineapple and apple to cut the heavy kale but not cause a sugar spike, and a touch of lemon and ginger finishes it off.

The Sweet Potato completely avoids being starchy and is instead the perfect marriage of carrot and sweet potato, softened by warming cinnamon.

The intriguing kitchen-sink blend, Everything, includes 17 ingredients—from kale to cranberry to pear. It’s like a liquid multivitamin and manages to taste like nothing…but not in a bad way.

The menu also includes two beet-based concoctions (one with cranberry overtones), fruit juices in pear, apple, orange, and pineapple, and a fresh, organic young Thai coconut water.

The takeaway: It’s a successful menu of delicious, refined juices that’s likely to be a huge hit, especially with those who can’t stomach a $10 or $12 green juice just for nutrition’s sake. Here’s hoping the big-name brands like Organic Avenue and Juice Generation are paying attention. —Lisa Elaine Held

Kaffe 1668 has two locations in Tribeca, 401 Greenwich St., and 275 Greenwich St., www.kaffe1668.com

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