Sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what the influences have been that create a New York tradition, especially a food or drink tradition.
In the case of coffee that’s especially so. How many would know for instance that it is Australian baristas that have radically improved coffee drinking in NYC. See the video of an Aussie owned, Chris Trimbell, and developed, Café, Café Grumpy that helped lead the charge.
It has turned out to be a kind of reverse osmosis. About 10-12 years ago Starbucks launched multiple stores in Australia expecting to make a killing. 5 years later they closed all their stores having failed dismally. Why did this happen?
Aussies had been drinking excellent espresso coffee brewed initially by Italian baristas who arrived post World War 2, for over 50 years and thought the Starbucks brew was weak and flavorless by comparison.
The Aussies were also used to the whole process of selecting coffee beans and roasting and grinding them to their taste.
Eventually Aussie baristas realized New York was wide open to the lure of really excellent coffee and started setting up cafes and also set out to train top baristas who were also New Yorker natives. Hey presto New York coffee is now on a steady route to improvement, strong, flavorsome and espressoed to perfection. LIKE really, really good New York coffee.