Finally had the chance to sample the coffee at Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint and was delighted to find a true Seattle-style espresso cafe in New York City. Shots were pulled precisely and lattes were delicious--beans were from Cafe Victrola in Seattle. Owners intend to open a place on 20th street in Chelsea, which is good news for Manhattanites looking for good coffee in the city north of Joe's on 13th St.
The nice experience at Cafe Grumpy makes me wonder all the more why there are so few good coffee bars in NYC. Other than its nearby neighbor Gimme Coffee (which takes inordinate care in presentation and freshness), and both locations of Joe's in Manhattan (sorry, I've yet to make it to 9th St. Espresso), I have yet to find a place that can compare in terms of quality and barista-knowledge with typical espresso bars on the west coast. Any thoughts why?