Welcome to Kathryn’s Coffee Column! The coffee shop of the month is Ridgewood’s own, Ridgewood Coffee Company, otherwise known as my second home. Nicknamed RCC, do not mistake this trendy and delicious coffee shop, for Ridgewood Country Club, which is what most people think when they hear “RCC.” Anyways let me give tell you about RCC and why I just absolutely adore it.
Anyone can find numerous pictures of the joint on Instagram, as it is an extremely photogenic spot that serves beautifully crafted drinks. Once again, it is another great place to snag a few artsy pictures of your coffee or tea. In comparison to Kuppi Coffee Company, which was the coffee place that I discussed in last month’s edition of the High Times, RCC has a much greater array of drinks on its menu. They offer 12 different types of tea that you can get iced or hot and baristas are also extremely friendly, always taking the time to freshly brew your tea for you. My personal favorite tea would have to be the peppermint flavor. It is refreshing because it really helps clear your sinuses and lightens your mood after a gloomy day at school. I prefer mine iced, but hot tea is always a smart choice, especially on a rainy day. For those who love the passion iced tea at Starbucks, take a risk and order RCC’s interpretation. It is not nearly as sweet, which may be better for those who like a little tang to their tea, so if you are ever looking to enhance your overall love of passion tea, make a stop at RCC and give it a try.
The teas at RCC are great, but for people in dire need of caffeine 95% of the day like me, the coffee here will definitely do the trick. The owner of RCC uses coffee grinds from very prominent and established coffee companies around the US such as Cafe Grumpy, based in Brooklyn, and Intelligentsia based in Chicago. Both these brands of coffee are high quality and super delicious.
Also, I have to mention that RCC offers a Nutella latte which is perfect for chocolate-lovers. Although I really like the Nutella latte, my personal favorite drink is the hot vanilla latte. It is a universally good drink; I never feel gross drinking it on a hot day because it is not too heavy, and it is just as enjoyable on a cold day. But I especially recommnend this kind of latte for a nice rainy day. Ridgewood Coffee Company’s menu also contains a plethora of chais, mochas, cappuccinos, americanos, macchiatos, and ice drip coffee, which is similar to cold brew except RCC has its coffee grinds in an interesting device located at the front of the shop.
RCC is ten times more likely to have seating then Starbucks is after school, and it is an awesome place to get work done. You can choose a bar stool that overlooks the hustle and bustle of Ridgewood Ave, especially during the morning rush to get breakfast at Raymond’s on Saturday and Sundays, or one of the many tables that usually have one chair on each side of it. If you are lucky, you can snag one of the comfy black chairs located in the back. All seating options are great, though I would advise going for a table closer to the wall because you can take advantage of the outlets to charge your electronics.
The driving force that keeps me going to Ridgewood Coffee Company multiple days a week is the people I meet there. There are many unique individuals who are very open to making new friends. Not only have I met people from different towns who I have become good friends with, but I have also become friends with Phil, the bearded fellow who plays his flute outside of the movie theater and who is also ridiculously intelligent. I have had hour-long exchanges with him in regards to his values and opinions on different issues.
In addition, RCC holds live entertainment on Monday or Thursday nights. Monday night is open mic night, in which people can either sing a capella or with a track any song of their choice. It is a very unique opportunity, and I encourage people to take advantage of it if they have even the slightest desire to perform. Everyone is extremely accepting, and participants will always get a hearty round of applause even if they mess up, which is reassuring (at least for me). Thursday night is “Jerry Jams,” during which people can bring their musical instruments and just jam out. Jerry Jams are very relaxed and are always a grand, old time.
Located right in the center of town, just a fifteen minute walk from the high school, Ridgewood Coffee Co. should be one of your next destinations. Customers can appreciate the artwork covering the walls, thoroughly enjoy their drinks, maybe even buy a delicious baked good, or simply say “hi” to someone sitting next to them. You never know where your conversations will lead. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not take advantage of venturing to this coffee shop at least once in your high school career.