Coffee Story: A Trendy, Modern Café
While Coffee Story blends in with the rest of the shops lining Murray Hill, inside contains a potential hidden gem for Instagramers and influencers.
"Hi!" the barista friendly exclaims as I walk in. She waits as I peruse the stylish menu, full of trendy sandwiches, sweet fraps, and the standard coffee options.
As one of the first cafés I have ever visited, Coffee Story made a homely first impression.
Although I haven't visited many cafés, I would still say that Coffee Story demonstrates exemplary customer service over the rest. When I entered the store, the two employees dutifully stood up behind the counter, patiently and preparedly waiting to take my order. Leaving the store, conversely, the barista voiced a warm goodbye.
I was most amazed when, sitting down and waiting for my order, a barista delivered my order (as well as a few napkins, golly) to me. This is not the norm in any of the cafés I have visited in my life—I highly appreciated Coffee Story's leveraging its low customer traffic to provide awesome customer connections.
I should mention that tap-to-pay wasn't working as of when I paid. Rest assured, however, the barista did tell me they would get it back working as soon as possible.
Glancing at the menu, I was not only impressed by its hand-drawn visuals and design but also by its variety of menu items. From fraps to sodas to smoothies, Coffee Story really carries the whole lot.
Since I arrived hungry in the afternoon, I chose the most expensive sandwich, the Kabocha Squash Salad Sandwich, paired with the refreshing Strawberry Oreo Frappe. I honestly had no idea what to expect.
I almost gagged. It's safe to say, after having it for the first time, I am not a kabocha squash type of person. I tried my best to counteract the kabocha squash's effect with the Oreo frappe, and I eventually (and thankfully) finished the sandwich. But let's not talk about the flavor for this one since I'm sure this is a personal preference issue...
The overall presentation was so good. The sandwich came paper wrapped, fresh, cut, and THICK—great for Instagram. Practically, though, the thickness of the sandwich was its biggest flaw. Because it was impossible to fit the fattest end of the sandwich into my mouth, I nibbled at either side of the sandwich until I got to the narrow end.
Strawberry Oreo Frappe
Even though my experience with this frappe was partly interrupted by the nature of the sandwich, I would still say that it was really delicious. Unlike Starbucks' Oreo Frappe (in the form of white mocha and java chips), this frap had real Oreo, which is something I've never seen or tasted before. Having tasted it, IT IS FREAKING GOOD.
The strawberry complemented the Oreo nicely, which is another added benefit.
Overall, this is a refreshing drink for a sweltering summer day.
The space was just okay. It had décor and furniture reminiscent of any modern coffee shop, which I personally enjoyed, but the space was a bit dim. I feel like it would have been better if the bar was instead moved to the back of the café instead of being at the front, as sunlight would've then easily gleamed the space.
From a student's perspective, however, this space had one major flaw: the lack of Wi-Fi. This might not be a deal-breaker for those gathering with friends or colleagues, but as an introvert, the addition of customer Wi-Fi would have proved a significant benefit. With Wi-Fi, I could see myself going to this café every day to grab a drink and study for a few hours (although there is a 2-hour seating limit). This is even more so true by indie music—my favorite genre—playing: Clairo's Amoeba lightly graced my ears as I was enjoying my meal.
If it were not for the lack of Wi-Fi, Coffee Story would have been an almost perfect café for me. The appetizing food, warm customer service, and graceful ambience were all very much appreciated. The menu items are highly colorful—perfect for any social media post.
"See you soon!" the barista exclaimed as I walked out the door. Indeed, as one of the best cafés I have ever visited, this café is very much go-again worthy.
And yes, I think I will be coming again. (Be prepared, baristas!) 😂
Connect with Coffee Story
Address: 152-22 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354