A Day at the RISE Lower East Side Cafe
There is something intangibly pleasant about our nitro coffee cafe on 79 Delancey Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It’s a hidden gem, a cover from the rain, and above all the best and most necessary place to recharge with a quick cup of nitro cold brew. I’ve also thought of it weirdly as a “gas station” -- though, a better word would be an “energy station.” (Although, to be fair our coffee literally has nitrogen gas in it -- which of course gives it a distinct, extra frothy, creamy, and sweet taste without any additives.) All in all, it’s a place to refuel with the best coffee in New York. It’s a small space but exactly what we require. The descriptor that keeps repeating over and over in my mind is “charming”.
It could be the music – soulful oldies from the likes of Bob Marley and Van Morrison play perpetually from our corner speakers. It could be the lighting -- a window covers the entire front of our shop, providing ample lighting while twinkle lights add an extra feeling of coziness. It could be our dash of green -- a handful of plants that survived the winter despite the odds. It could be the architecture -- which, to be completely honest, doesn’t quite make sense. But it functions sufficiently for our needs and ignites a sense of curiosity as to how the space was used before we inhabited it. I find myself daydreaming and imagining the stories of previous inhabitants and brands. Some curious aspects of the space include some cool but slightly haphazard wood paneling on the right side of the coffee shop -- and to the left, there is a marble column that covers half of the opposite wall. Our significant and most talked about personal addition to the space is the colorful, mountainous mural covering the entirety of the back wall -- an homage to the Chanchamayo Valley of Peru, where our coffee beans come from for our nitro coffee cans and kegs. It's the first thing you see when you walk into the shop and the most memorable as well -- aside from our nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee of course!
THE NITRO COFFEE
RISE nitro cold brew is highly caffeinated, 100% organic, and made with healthy ingredients. My favorite part about working at the cafe is that our products are easy to sell. I offer free samples to anyone who asks, “What is nitro cold brew?” Or, “What is a cold brew?” I do this so they can taste RISE and get introduced to the world of nitrogen-infused coffee. I’m often asked to describe the difference between iced coffee and cold brew. (They are very different -- iced coffee is hot coffee that is iced down, while cold brew is made by soaking coffee grinds in cold water). Customers also ask me, “Does cold brew have more caffeine?” (Often yes -- and ours definitely does! Our Original Black has about 180 milligrams of caffeine, which is roughly equal to 1.5x cups of hot coffee.) Some customers also ask why we offer our cold brew on tap. (It’s delicious coffee from a keg and a great way to serve in bulk while keeping the nitro coffee refrigerated). At the same time, we offer nitro cold brew coffee in cans, for customers’ on-the-go caffeine needs. We offer 4 flavors – Original Black, Oat Milk Latte, Oat Milk Mocha, and Classic Latte.
Once customers try, 99% of the time, their taste buds are won over. It’s almost inevitable. We have customers who are fans of our canned nitro from all over the country and they’re delighted when they stumble across our flagship cafe offering the same nitro coffee fresh from the tap. It’s the full experience!
My second and personal favorite part of working at our RISE Cafe is quite predictable -- endless RISE nitro to drink, aka endless energy. I love to say I’m fueled (literally) by my work.
I bring the Classic Latte home to my roommates and stock my boyfriend and his 3 roommates (all professional drummers) with our Oat Milk Latte. When I don’t have access to our fresh-from-the-tap nitro coffee, my favorite thing to do is make a Black and Tan (1 whole Oat Milk Latte can and 1 whole Original Black can). It’s the perfect amount of caffeine with the delicious creaminess from our Oat Milk Latte.
We also have fun and functional symbiotic relationships with the neighboring establishments bordering our cafe. To the right of our café is an oyster bar, Grey Lady. We share certain amenities and discounts on nitro coffee and food. I have pleasant interactions with their staff daily. One of the folks on the Grey Lady staff, Domingo, brightens every one of my mornings with his positivity and our frequent trades of mangoes for mochas.
On the left side of us is the Tenement Museum -- a historic site of NYC, and one of the top 10 museums to visit in the city. We meet tons of the folks visiting the museum and provide the museum tourists and staff with regular discounts on our nitro cold brew coffee. I love that RISE has a thriving community in such a huge bustling city.
The customers who come into our nitro cafe are a diverse mix of New Yorkers, regulars, and tourists from all over the world. I ask every customer how they found out about RISE Brewing Co -- and, I’ve heard countless stories of people who live in the neighborhood and remember our first charming hole-in-the-wall cafe on Stanton Street. This was our first home base in the city. To me, it feels like the very beginning of the community we’ve built around our brand and our nitro cold brew coffee.
The regulars, of course, know exactly what they want and come for their daily fix of nitro cold brew -- but it’s such a delight to explain something new and interesting to tourists from out of town. They come from across the country and across the world -- and, to most of them, nitro cold brew coffee is something out of this world. I love observing their first taste!
Come visit us any time at the RISE Brewing Co cafe on 79 Delancey Street. We’ll be here with a cup of nitro cold brew coffee waiting for you.
These Notes on Nitro are brought to you by team member Haley Beney