Sunday, July 22, 2012

The New York Coffee Cup – “We Are Happy To Serve You”.

By Luke Constantino
Every time I go into Brooklyn Heights or Manhattan I’m surrounded by either a Starbucks or some little café selling some foo foo vente’ chai latte half calf with hazel nut moco garbage. I think I need “The Idiots Guide on how to buy Coffee “here. My friends seem to enjoy buying this stuff, and I always ask “What did you get?” They always give me some description of their coffee that is in 3 different languages and is topped with something that should be on ice cream. I always answer “You didn’t get sprinkles with that?” laugh, and walk away.
I’m sorry, I’m a real New Yorker, born and raised. My coffee comes in a paper cup that says “We Are Happy To Serve You”. "Coffee black", or “Regular” which is universally known to be with a little sugar and cream. Since I was a child I remember seeing this cup, it is the only New York coffee cup I have ever known, but where did it come from… Ancient Greece?
New York has always been a diverse melting pot or in this case, a melting pot of coffee. Leslie Buck a New Yorker born in Czechoslovakia designed this “Anthora” cup in the early 60’s. Back then The Greeks ruled the greasy spoon diners throughout the 5 boroughs (which we all loved dearly). He wanted to appeal to this market with his cups. As we all know, Leslie did way better than that. Not only did the diners go crazy over these cups, so did a lot of street vendors. Now his “Athora” cup is synonymous with New York coffee.
Early morning I’m in lower Manhattan getting a coffee from the breakfast cart in front of the court buildings; “Coffee regular”, I yell as everyone behind me impatiently waits for their coffees, muffins, bagels etc. I look at the cup and I smile “There is no place I’d rather be”.

Luke Constantino 

Coldwell Banker
(212) 300-3919 
7428 5th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11209

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