BweeklyRoast provides weekly off-campus coffee shop reviews for students who can’t spend another waking moment at Butler. This week: The Picky Barista on 102nd. 

This week’s reason to leave campus for your coffee is to be delusional and pretend break has started early. Maybe you could even get started on everything due the week after Thanksgiving, but you probably won’t (and neither will I). 

The Picky Barista @pickybaristany

Technically, The Picky Barista is in the Upper West Side, but it only took me around twenty minutes to walk there from campus, so it doesn’t actually count. I could’ve taken the 1 to 103rd, but I’d recommend saving the money and walking, unless the weather is especially bad or you’re really not feeling it. As far as convenience goes, sometimes I don’t have forty minutes to walk to and from my study spot, nor do I have the energy. The subway would probably take a similar amount of time as well, so that’s something to think about. Also, for navigation purposes, note that The Picky Barista was formerly listed as “The Peaky Barista” on Apple Maps, but they’re the same place. I’m not super sure what’s going on there and it looks like they’ve changed it since, but just in case. 

Picky Barista’s website describes the business as a “family-owned, cozy, and hip coffee shop with a European vibe,” which I’d say is accurate! The cafe’s vibe was a huge highlight; it was very charming and eclectic. Many colorful books and trinkets were scattered around the place, and there was technically ample seating. Some of the tables are much smaller than others, so my friend and I, who were planning on working, had to move two together since the bigger tables were taken. There was a small couch with a coffee table and a bar you could sit at, so there were options, but I can imagine this place could become completely full fast during busier times. 

There was also no bathroom, but the barista referred guests to somewhere nearby. The WiFi was free and written nicely on a sign near the register. I generally found the music to be nice; it wasn’t typical for a coffee shop, but it fit the vibe and wasn’t distracting. When planning a time to visit this cafe, I saw online that it closed at 7 pm, just to find out upon arrival that it says 6 pm on the door. Sure enough, I got kicked out at 6; therefore, I didn’t get much done, but at least now we know! It seems they’ve since updated the hours online, so maybe it’s a new thing, considering I’ve had my eye on this shop for a while. Admittedly, 6 pm isn’t that early for a coffee shop, but it just depends on when you get there. Regarding long-term studying, I’d say maybe for a few hours considering the bathroom issue and space uncertainty; you don’t want to be the person hogging two tables for an unreasonable amount of time. 

As far as the coffee goes, it was great! There were also a million syrup options. I ended up choosing lavender because I wasn’t feeling too adventurous, but they had all the classics and uncommon ones like maple! The latte was delicious; the foam was perfect, and so was the flavor. I didn’t need to add any additional milk or sugar, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire cup. The latte art was simply gorgeous. It did come in a disposable cup, though, even though I was dining in and saw cute mugs, so I’m slightly bummed about that. It was still aesthetic, though, so I’m not really complaining. 

I only got the coffee, but there were a few pastry options. The prices seemed normal, but everything (food and prices) are listed on this online menu. I found my latte to be kind of expensive, but mainly because the two tiny pumps of syrup were an extra $0.75. That seems slightly excessive, especially since it made my coffee cost $6.53. It’s been worse, but maybe next time I’d skip the syrup because I don’t think it added that much to the flavor. 

Pros: Atmosphere, family-owned/small business, great coffee

Cons: No bathroom, expensive syrup/milk substitutes, 20 min walk, tables could be iffy? 

Overall: 6/10. I would definitely go here again, but it might be better for a quick get-together rather than a insane study session. The vibes were truly great, and I loved my latte, but I don’t know if the cost, table situation, or location is super sustainable for an everyday thing. That being said, if you have time for a nice walk and you only need to write an essay on your laptop, I would absolutely recommend it! 

PSA: Due to Thanksgiving break, there will unfortunately not be a new BweeklyRoast next week. Have a great (almost) week off, and I hope you enjoy some excellent coffee wherever you are!

The Picky Barista via Author