I like to keep my coffee simple. Roast it well, extract it properly, and serve it black. But the Stand Coffee Almond Palmer might just soften my purist stance. The nomadic coffee shop has popped up in some interesting places, like the back of Baohaus, Smorgasburg Brooklyn, the South Street Seaport, and most recently, Samsung 837, an art/cafe/workspace/sales floor in New York City's Meatpacking District. Stand Coffee has been in the space since February, and began quietly whipping up coffee lemonade concoctions soon after. But it took until August for the New York City coffee scene to truly take notice.
Stand Coffee's counter in the Samsung store is nestled away on the top floor, near a smart kitchen display and a replica living room that looks far more expensive than I could ever afford. Cool place to drink a cup of lemonade coffee, though. Behind me were a British family on vacation, trying virtual reality headsets for the first time. I'm not sure who was more freaked out by their brand-new experience: them, or me. The Stand Coffee Almond Palmer has to be tasted to be believed—its blend of lemon syrup, almond milk, and cold brew coffee looks deceptively similar to a regular cup of joe. Hell, it even takes you a second sip before you realize that there's something completely different going on inside your glass.
The Almond Palmer's taste is hard to define at first. but About halfway through, you realize why it's strangely familiar: it's a lemon curd donut in a cup. It has the same texture and taste of a mug of coffee you've paired with a lemony breakfast pastry—kind of like a liquid lemon danish, if you will. Even if you prefer your coffee to be on the more spartan side, the the Stand Coffee Almond Palmer is still light enough as to not overwhelm you with citrusy sweetness. It might be sweet enough to make you not get upset with the tourists behind that are squealing about how their VR simulation has zapped them into Disneyland (if only it really did).
The concept of citrus and coffee going together is hardly new. Certain coffee varietals have been known to give off lemon and lime flavors based on their origin and roast. Russians have been swilling a lemon and coffee concoction known as kofyeh slimonem for years. And, of course, there's always the Coffee Negroni.
But all told, the Almond Palmer's pretty good—even if it sounds like a curdling combination. And even if it's not your speed, it's still more palatable than listening to people go on a virtual tour of Space Mountain.