By Nickie Hayes
If the rich smell of roasting coffee puts a smile on your face, and you find yourself in New York’s Hudson Valley, here are some of the best places to get your day started off right.
I started my search at The Poughkeepsie Grind. There I talked to the chef, Rashon Pittman, who is from Poughkeepsie, New York. He said he has been working at the coffee shop since it all started.
“I’ve been here since day one, it has been five years, and I created the menu here,” Pittman said. “I have loved to help create this successful business.”
Pittman’s favorite coffee from The Poughkeepsie Grind is the caramel macchiato. He said he is a big caramel fan, and he likes the way the caramel and the espresso balance each other within the drink.
I asked him if he had any other coffee shops to suggest, and he said no. I cannot argue with his response.
“Honestly, no, this is the best coffee shop around,” Pittman said.
I purchased the caramel macchiato myself, and it was the best coffee I had had in a long time. With that, I searched for the next stop on my coffee exploration.
The second coffee shop I went to was The Crafted Kup, a quaint place with a very relaxing ambiance. It is located right next to Vassar College, and surely has a lot of student customers. There I talked to one of the baristas, Ryan Bosch, who is also from Poughkeepsie.
He noted that the current owner has had the place for about eight years, and the previous owner had the place for a few years prior.
Bosch said his two favorite drinks from there are two shots of espresso or an Americano.
“I’m obsessed with coffee beans and different roasts. I like to taste just the straight-up flavor of the coffee bean itself, instead of all the other stuff that is added to it,” Bosch said.
When I asked if there were any other places he would suggest, he was excited to tell me about the different places he has tried. However, the one that stuck out to me was Big Mouth Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop in Beacon, New York.
“Big Mouth Coffee Roasters in Beacon is an excellent place to go. The owner is a young guy in his mid-twenties, but they do great, great coffee down there,” Bosch said.
As well, he said to look out for the hippopotamus, but I did not quite understand what he meant till I got there.
The name of the store and the hippo sign definitely make the third coffee shop I stopped at feel unique. Along with that, the view of Mt. Beacon, which can be seen only slightly from the picture, was breathtaking. There is a glass wall in the store, where I saw the owner roasting the coffee beans for the day.
At the shop, I talked to a worker named Kitt Gabbard, who is originally from Texas, but moved to Beacon. She said that Big Mouth has been there for three years, and her favorite drink is straight black coffee.
Gabbard said, “Our black coffee is really, really good and kind of has a chocolatey undertone to it. I have more of a bitter palette, but I still like it because it is just a little bit sweet.”
I had already drunk way too much coffee by this point, so I opted for the iced peach tea they brew, which was still fantastic.
On my quest to find great coffee in the Hudson Valley, I found three wonderful places for coffee lovers and maybe even some tea lovers. These are just three of the many coffee shops within the Hudson Valley area to try. If you want to start your morning with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, try one of these local businesses.