Last updated: July 14 2023
I’ve written about coffee for a while, but there has been a substantial change in the coffee options in the past few years, so it’s worth looking at as a whole. Especially since some of what I’ve written in the past is not true anymore.
This guide is explicitly referring to specialty coffee. It’s meant to be drank with out any additives (no milk, sugar, syrups) to highlight the origin characteristics of each bean. Think about fancy wine’s emphasis on growing location, grape, process; it’s that, but coffee. That said, all of these shops will have great signature drinks (such as Mexican mochas, lavendar lattes, etc.) that feature their great coffee. From the Specialty Coffee Association:
What is Specialty Coffee?
Specialty coffee can consistently exist through the dedication of the people who have made it their life’s work to continually make quality their highest priority. This is not the work of only one person in the lifecycle of a coffee bean; specialty can only occur when all of those involved in the coffee value chain work in harmony and maintain a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. This is no easy accomplishment, and yet because of these dedicated professionals, there are numerous specialty coffees available right now, across the globe, and likely right around the corner from you.
Here are the places I’d recommend grabbing a coffee.
625 River St, Troy
Touchy Coffee rises out of the ashes of Superior Merchandise. Touchy was Superiors sister company that provided the coffee at Superior. Now a weekend only shop in a different location in North Troy. Grab a cup to see what they have on offer, grab a bag of beans, and you’re set for brewing at home.
Stacks Espresso Bar
260 Lark St, Albany
488 Broadway, Albany
13 3rd St, Troy
Stacks is a solid neighborhood coffee shop. They’re also the original specialty coffee shop in the area. Stacks has a robust food program at the Broadway and Troy locations. And in my experience they tend to have longer hours and are open more than any other shop in the area.
211 Broadway, Troy
little pecks is a cafe attached to the Lucas Confectionery wine bar in Troy. They have coffee from Portland, Maine’s Tandem Coffee Roasters that you can get as a batch brew, pour over, or espresso. You can also buy bags of whole bean coffee from them. Pretty much everything here is good, and the space in the garden is a great place to spend time with friends or a book.
4th St, Troy
Hernán who used to work and roast coffee at Stacks opened his own shop. This shop used to be on 2nd in a shared space, but has since moved to their own space on 4th. A bit out of the way, but sometimes that’s the idea.
274 River St, Troy
Run by people very passionate about coffee. Nice centrally located space. Known for their signature drinks.
All of the places above have you covered.
Making your own coffee at home
If you are looking to make your own fussy coffee at home I’ve got you covered.
As my focus for this listing is specialty coffee, I can not in good faith recommend Uncommon Grounds, Emack and Bolio’s, Bonobo, Stagecoach Coffee, Iron Gate, Mug Shots, Spill’n the Beans, or Daily Grind for their coffee.