Marketed as a cheaper alternative to big-name coffee chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, Blank Street Coffee has grown quickly in popularity — managing to convince even some picky caffeine addicts that its jitter juice is affordable and of good quality.
Founded in the summer of 2020 in Brooklyn, New York, the locally owned chain has opened 40 locations across the city — and continues growing — and expanded across the pond last year with three shops in London. The Blank Street model calls for fewer employees in small spaces that are largely automated, allowing for lower costs.
After seeing ads for Blank Street on social media continuously and hearing people talk about the mint-colored coffee carts popping up all over town, I decided to track one down to see if the hype was justified. If you're wondering whether Blank Street is worth checking out, here's everything you need to know.
One of the things that sets Blank Street Coffee apart is its commitment to sustainability. The owners — who met in college and started Blank Street after finding it difficult to track down affordable coffee that wasn't absolute trash — source their beans from small, ethical coffee farms and roast them in-house using renewable energy sources. They use biodegradable cups and utensils, and offer a discount to customers who bring in their own reusable mugs.
Taste Test and Pricing
Sustainability isn't the only thing that helps Blank Street Coffee stand out from other locally owned cafes. The coffee itself is pretty good — with a variety of roasts and flavors to choose from. I went with my usual choice: a latte with whole milk, two pumps of vanilla syrup and extra foam. After taking a sip, I found that it tasted about the same as a vanilla latte from Starbucks, perhaps just a teensy bit less robust than Starbucks' Pike Place roast.
Cost-wise, Blank Street was also more affordable than its competitors. A 16-ounce (large) Blank Street latte will cost you $4.25; the same drink at Starbucks is an extra buck at $5.25 plus tax, and $4.89 at Dunkin'. Other items on Blank Street's menu: a large cold brew for $4.75; an Americano for $3; and a mocha for $4.50. In addition to coffee, Blank Street Coffee offers a selection of pastries, sandwiches, and other light fare.
The location I visited in the Financial District just off the Fulton subway stop seemed particularly popular — there was a line out the door during the morning rush — and the baristas were knowledgeable and friendly.
Though some locations are pop-up trucks with no seating, I found the atmosphere at this FiDi location warm and welcoming, with comfortable seating and plenty of electrical outlets for those looking to work or study.
Overall, I found Blank Street Coffee to be a solid choice for anyone looking for high-quality coffee sourced in ethical and sustainable ways. The atmosphere at the chain's FiDi location helps make it a standout in the crowded world of coffee shops.
@jyu.eats Blank Street Coffee! I’ve seen them all around the city and always wanted to try! #nycfood #nyccoffee #blankstreetcoffee ♬ unholy x 7 rings mashup adamusic - notObsessed