BweeklyRoast provides off-campus coffee shop reviews for students who can’t spend another waking moment at Butler. This week: Black Press Coffee in the UWS. 

BweeklyRoast is sooooo back (maybe not bweekly, though…). Regardless, this week’s reason to leave campus for your coffee is to celebrate the semi-revival of your favorite coffee series. 

Black Press Coffee @blackpresscoffee

Before I start, disclaimer: Black Press is sort of (definitely) the farthest reviewed shop from campus yet. It’s at 73rd and Columbus Ave, which isn’t so bad, but it’s admittedly not ideal. I can think of a million excuses, but I’m sure nobody is surprised that I’m genuinely running out of local places to go. Please comment (or email me) if there’s one closer I should write about. 

I actually hadn’t planned to walk into Black Press. Since it was Saturday, I wanted to study at a much bigger coffee shop/bookstore after my weekend walk to the UWS. But after arriving, I noticed there was not a single open table in the entire place, so I just kept walking. I honestly just wanted to go to the closest second option, and luckily, I found a tiny coffee shop with an open table. 

As I said, I got lucky. The cafe only has three two-person tables and a small bar, so I wouldn’t recommend going on a busy day like I did. I quickly noticed the place was very popular, as the line was almost out the door the entire time I was there. Ultimately, I completely understand why. The latte I ordered was insanely good. I also opted to add a delicious “house-made syrup” that I’ve since forgotten the name of (something cinnamon). The drink was the perfect balance of coffee, sweetness, and foam. They also had (really pretty) mugs available, and I technically could have asked for one, but they were so busy I think they were just trying to get people out as quickly as possible. Regardless of the rush, I got latte art, which I was super excited about. The prices were pretty typical for the area: five dollars for the plain hot latte with an upcharge for syrups and alternative milk. It’s also important to note that I would have happily gotten the latte without any add-ins; it was that good. I didn’t get any food because by the time I got there, the pastries were mostly gone, but what was left looked really good. 

The space itself is also adorable! As I’ve mentioned, it is small, but it’s very cozy and has really big windows looking onto Columbus Ave. The tables were a good size for my laptop and tablet, and I got to sit in a comfy booth. The atmosphere was great, but there were a few technical issues. There were no noticeable outlets or public bathrooms, and while there was free WiFi, it was dreadfully slow, so I ended up using my hotspot to run CLIO. I still stayed for about three hours and did my readings with no problems, but I wouldn’t recommend it for longer than that. Also because of the people, it was loud, which I don’t mind but if you prefer quiet or music, I would bring some headphones. The biggest pro for me was the shop stayed open until 7 pm, which is way better for my schedule than most other cafes in the area. 

Lastly, I later found out about the mission of the shop, which, in short, is to provide a safe and inclusive environment! Their name derives from Black Press, which was a group of publications that fought for social change and the inclusion of underrepresented communities in mainstream media. Bwog loves inclusive media! Also, their coffee comes from a local roaster based in Brooklyn, which is very cool and allows for (again) amazing flavor. 

Pros: Amazing(!!!) coffee, inclusive space, reusable mugs available, decent pricing, love the neighborhood

Cons: Kind of far from campus, bad wifi, no public bathrooms, lack of space

Overall: 6/10. Mainly because the coffee was so great, I would definitely go here again, but maybe only to study on a less busy day. Would definitely be better for a coffee date (and maybe shopping after, it’s in a good area). That being said, if you have time for a nice walk/subway trip and just want to read, I don’t see why this wouldn’t be a great option; just not as versatile as I’d need it to be for a higher score. 

Black Press Coffee via Author