Lucid Cafe’s Iced Coffee Packs a Frosty Jolt
When it comes to coffee, I’m a utilitarian. If all I need is a jolt to sustain me through a long workday, I have no problem choking down a cup of black sludge from the office coffeemaker. But when the summer heat hits, I have to grab an iced coffee on my way to work. For my money, coffee is just better on ice. And at Lucid Cafe (Lex btw. 37th+38th), they’re making it right.
We’ve noted in the past that Lucid Cafe is one of a few spots in Midtown where you can get cold-brewed coffee. As this helpful article from Eater explains, cold-brewed coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. The process yields a coffee that’s smooth and strong, and much less acidic than a traditional brew. That’s exactly how I’d describe Lucid Cafe’s iced coffee. It’s simultaneously mellow but intense, with a deep, round coffee flavor. No milk or cream is needed, just a good dose of sugar.
And sugar is another thing that Lucid Cafe does right. (Did you know it’s possible to do sugar wrong?) Instead of giving you regular sugar that won’t dissolve in your drink no matter how hard you stir, they have a bottle of simple syrup to pour, which mixes effortlessly with the coffee.
The one drawback to Lucid Cafe’s coffee is the price. A small (12 oz) iced coffee costs $2.75, medium (16 oz) costs $3.25, and large (20 oz) costs $3.75. Like I said before, I’m not a big coffee drinker, so I don’t know how these prices compare to others, but they seem a bit high to me. That said, it’s well worth it, in my opinion.
In addition to the coffee, Lucid Cafe also has a small selection of pastries made on premises, plus a few breakfast items like oatmeal and yogurt. I tried out a chocolate almond croissant and was impressed. The croissant was crispy and flaky on the outside, studded with sliced almonds and dusted with powdered sugar, but moist and soft on the inside, with melted shards of good dark chocolate scattered throughout. Priced at around $3.50 (I didn’t see a price and my receipt wasn’t itemized, so that’s just an estimate) I’d eat that for breakfast again.
If you’re a fan of iced coffee, I’d recommend you skip the Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and give Lucid Cafe a shot.
Lucid Cafe, 311 Lexington Ave. (btw. 37th+38th), (212) 867-3490