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  • Writer's pictureJamie Grawitch

Cups and Books

This is my first review of a coffee shop in a long time (like 4-5 years) but today I decided that It was the perfect day to get back into it. Most people in my life know that I just started Real Estate in NYC, and I love it! I also love coffee, so while I finished all of my work that I could get done this morning, I sat there thinking about how much thought I had put into starting my coffee shop reviews again, but how little action I had taken to do so. It was BEAUTIFUL outside today, and I've been have a little anxiety about going out (I don't really know why, but leaving the apartment has been hard recently) so I showered, put on a cute outfit and packed my stuff up before my brain could rethink its decision about going out (I also asked Mitchell to meet me at the coffee shop after he got off work so I had a reason to actually leave the apartment (body doubling - amiright???)

I decided to go to Cups and Books which was a quick walk away! Right off the bat, I thought this would be a great place to start my reviews with - I LOVE coffee (duh) and I really enjoy books! They have a wide variety of books, and the owner was super helpful as I was looking around. The area is nice, and pretty quiet I would say. The atmosphere in the café is great, I was also the only one there, but the music wasn't too loud, and I feel like I could probably get a lot of work done here if (and when) I need to get out of the house. The owner also said that when it's nice out, they put chairs and tables outside, and the Wi-Fi extends outside (huge bonus).

I went to their website and pulled their little about section, posted below, and after talking with the owner, I found out the shop has only been around for a

bout 2.5 years:

"Cups and Books is a black family owned and operated, independent cafe bookstore located in the heart of Brooklyn, NY within Prospect Lefferts-Gardens(Flatbush to everyone else). Our bookshelves are unsegregated; featuring a majority of classic and contemporary books by and about individuals of the African Diaspora alongside national bestsellers. We are committed to bringing people together through shared stories. "

An orange Pumpkin muffin with crumbled and melted sugar on top, sitting on a white paper bag.
On to the meat of the review...

The food: I have to eat gluten free now (after months of trying

different things because I felt sick all the time, but that story is for another day) so most places only have a small selection of gluten free pastries. this place had a Gluten Free/Vegan pumpkin muffin, and it was really good! I came late in the afternoon, so I got the last one (someone walked in a few minutes after me asking for a gluten free pastry, and it was just ironic to me and we chatted about gluten free pastries) The outside of the muffin was a little rough, but again, I came late in the day. The inside of the muffin was AMAZING, and I would definitely get it again. They order their pastries from a bakery in Queens, that drops them off every morning. when I was talking with the owner, I had mentioned about how I loved pastries and miss regular one (there is just less of a variety when you can't have gluten), and he said he would see what else the bakery has and I thought that was very kind of him.

Rating: 4.75/5

The Coffee: I ordered an iced americano with oatmilk, and I added 2 equals (I normally use splenda, but they didn't have any). It was bigger than I thought it would be, but I also didn't specify or ask about sizing. It looked to be about a 16oz cup. The coffee was a little bitter (but I always think coffee is bitter, so don't take my word for it. I love my sugar and splenda and oatmilk, don't come for me - I just don't like black coffee). Putting equal in made a little bit of a difference (I don't think equal is as strong as splenda) but I did enjoy the americano. The Oat milk in the drink was the perfect amount, and overall I thought the drink was made well.

Rating: 4.8/5

Pricing: For a gluten free muffin and an americano, I assumed I would pay about $12 (more or less) for my order before tip, but I was surprisingly shocked that my order before tip was $7.90. After tip, it came to $10.90. Coffee just tends to be expensive, so anytime it's under $10 before tip, I get excited and put these cafes in my back pocket to try and frequent as often as possible. (I hit up a Café in the UES with Mitchell and our total was $35 before tip - we got 2 pastries, a coffee, and a small bag of chips - so we were shocked)

Rating: 5/5

Overall: 4.85/5

I would absolutely recommend this place. I love family owned shops, but I also love small book shops (I could spend thousands in a bookstore in an hour - if I had that kind of money). I will definitely be coming back.

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