Third Rail Coffee

240 Sullivan Street | 159 Second Avenue

NYC's Top 10 of 0’10

Leather and Rail

The good folks over at TampTamp put out a call for a vote on NYC’s best coffee shops and the results are in: We’re humbled to have even been included among the coffee luminaries on this list.

Here's the bit about us.
Third Rail has had so many reviews this year, maybe they’d like a haiku from TampTamp.

Third Rail Coffee bar
You are so nice and tasty
Everyone loves you

If you can only visit one shop in NYC, this is the one in 2011.

Here’s a link to the original post on the TampTamp blog “gets it”

Almost fell out of my chair when I read this post by the ever-excellent folks at, particularly this line;
“…but Third Rail feels New York in the very best way: bustling, unpretentious, classy…”

Read the whole post here:

Such insightful and astute observations, beautifully written. We can’t tell you how much it means to us. Dreams DO come true.

Patti Smith

New Photography Exhibit

We're stoked to have a new artist gracing our walls here at Third Rail. Running now through October 15th, we have selected works from award winning photojournalist (and one of our dearest "regulars") Ashley Gilbertson.

Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, September 9th from 8-9:30pm. Light refreshments and coffee will be served. 

Ashley Gilbertson is a photojournalist with the VII Network photo agency. Gilbertson's photographs from Iraq where he worked from 2002 until 2008, gained him recognition from the Overseas Press Club who awarded Gilbertson the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for his 2004 work in Falluja. His first book, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, was released in 2007. Since then, Gilbertson has been working on Bedrooms Of The Fallen, a collection of photographs depicting the intact bedrooms of service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, a substantial part of the project was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine and published in March of 2010. Gilbertson meanwhile continues to concentrate on the two wars by examining veterans issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide for Time Magazine and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He lives with his wife and child in New York City.

Hot and Fun! New Amsterdam Market

Today in 95+ degree heat we joined 56 amazing gourmet foodie folks at the New Amsterdam Market at the South Street Seaport.  We served iced coffee and tea to cool folks down and delight the tongue and of course we offered whole beans from Stumptown and Intelligentsia.

We met great people and talked about coffee all day.  Sometimes we actually forgot how hot it was. 

Laura and H pause and pose

We hope to be back in the future.  Thanks to everyone who came out to see us...we had a blast.

NY Times: A Coffe Bar for Cyclists

"The Third Rail Coffee setup is serious, and offers a complete menu. You can get your coffee to go, though it’s hard not to be drawn in by the Tour and grab a seat..."

“Everybody I know who’s a cyclist is also a coffee nut,” said Mike Spriggs, the manager of Rapha Cycle Club. “They go hand in hand. I do a lot of rides that end up at a coffee shop. That way I can get the fuel to get back.”

Full article here...

Third Rail is One Year Old

On July 3rd, we hit the one year mark!

A huge thank you to everyone that celebrated our birthday with us.  Our beloved Railers, customers, family and friends made it an amazing night!

An enormous thank you to our customers for your support and welcoming us into the community. We look forward to serving you lots and lots of coffee in the coming year.

The Rail Runs East

The Rail is setting up shop inside the Rapha Cycle Club, located at 352 Bowery (at Great Jones). This pop-up shop, which will open on July 3, for 3 months is part store, part coffee bar and part art gallery.

We are looking forward to an exciting three months of coffee events and activities (like cuppings, jams etc) and experimenting with different brew methods, kicking it off with our go to Chemex, rolling into single-cup cone filters like the V60’s and you may even spot a syphon or two.

We are thrilled to be teaming up with people who are as passionate about cycling as we are about coffee. It’s going to be a wild ride!

More updates to come…

Third Rail Coffee Named one of NYC's Top Ten Coffee Spots!

"Third Rail Coffee punches above its weight. It’s one of the city’s smallest coffee bars, and its most focused. The owners, Humberto Ricardo and Rita McCaffrey, offer at least two different espresso blends (each needs its own grinder, a commitment of capital and counter space), single-origin coffee in a Chemex and a full range of espresso drinks. The cortado is memorable."

Full Article Here!

Rosettas for Relief - Haiti

Last night we had two of our Baristas represent us at the Rosettas for Relief event held at Joe on 13th street. We're super proud of you both - JJB and Dan - and today we look up to you. Not just because you guys rock the bar but because you really took this tragedy in Haiti to heart and made the time and effort to raise funds for an excellent cause. 

Many many props to Sam Penix of Everyman Espresso for spearheading what's turned into a national (and now maybe international?) series of fund-raising events. Of course there were others who helped, and are helping, to pull it all together and we thank you very much. 

Congrats to all the winners as well - all *ahem* joe baristas ; )

More info on the charitable organization we raised money for here:

We're on CNN!

CNN came in to interview Dan and I - not about coffee - but about the rumored Apple tablet. It was pretty exciting to be honest. Special thanks go out to JJB for keeping the shop running throughout the shenanigans.


Oh yes darlings - you can now find select coffees from the Stumptown at Third Rail Coffee!

We had the immense pleasure of visiting them at their roasterie in Red Hook last week and cupped through pretty much the entire Stumptown lineup. They were ALL phenomenal so it was hard to whittle it down but a quick poll showed a few that consistently stood out to us, so we’re kicking it off with two single origin coffees that will surely impress. First up will be the Kenya Githima and El Jordon from Colombia, and later this week – HAIRBENDER espresso!

Having Stumptown at the shop is really exciting for us not just because the coffee is so great but because it’s being roasted locally and better yet by people we know and love.


From the birthplace of coffee itself we got a stunner in right now from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. My good friend Kyle was marveling over it the other day and it made me think of how Geoff Watts, Intelligentsia’s coffee buyer talks about how Ethiopia is the one place on earth where native coffees grow wild and that Ethiopia is home to more genetic varieties of coffee than anywhere else. He poetically describes the region this way; “The coffee here is a perpetually regenerating masterpiece and the land a tireless artist.”

I am no poet but will say, if you’ve never had a coffee from Yirgacheffe before you just might be taken aback by it at first. They’re usually very floral in nature, think of jasmine, orange blossoms and honeysuckle - with lots of honey and lemongrass in the flavor profiles. Acidity is usually pretty high and citrusy as well which leads to the perception of a “lighter” body. It all adds up to a very tea-like experience which is what I think challenges one’s perception of what coffee is, or can be.

The Yirgacheffe we have in now has got really great sweetness, lots of clover honey here, while still maintaining a very clean mouthfeel from the lime-like acidity. Super jasmine and gardenia blossom aromatics fill your nose while you taste notes of dark berries and lemongrass in the cup. It all finishes on a pretty well defined note of sweet herbiness and most importantly, will leave you smiling.

Holiday Hours

Third Rail Coffee will be open on Christmas Day!

This is especially good news for those of you who:
  • Want to reward yourself for all those thoughtful presents you bought your loved ones.
  • Need to sneak away from those pesky relatives who've assembled in your living room.
  • Need something to bring to that holiday dinner party you were invited to.
  • Need to fuel up for a super-late shopping spree. PS: A bag of freshly roasted artisanal coffee makes a really great gift. So does a Gift Certificate.
  • Can't go ONE day without your Third Rail COFFEE!!!
...and so our Hours for the holiday season are:
  • 12/24 - Normal hours (7am - 8pm)
  • 12/25 - 10am - 2pm
  • 12/31 - Normal Hours (7am - 8pm)
  • 01/01 - 9am - 8pm

Holiday Gift Box!

Stumped for a great Christmas or Chanukah present? Get your favorite coffee lover this sweet little duo packed with goodness and FRILLY RED SQUIGGLY THINGS!

Inside our gift box they’ll find a bag of Intelligentsia’s stellar ‘Celebration’ blend. Folks are going wild over this blend of Kenyan and Ethiopian coffee. With every sip, Kool and the Gang will start playing in their head and they may start to dance a little. This may or may not be a good thing for others but they’ll be happy.

Even BETTER (because it’ll last much longer) than the coffee, they’ll get a sweet, limited-edition Third Rail Coffee inaugural mug! (only available in this gift box). It’s got the most amazing photograph of two of our baristas that’s reminiscent of Grant Wood’s famous painting, American Gothic.

An even $29 makes you a super gift-giver this year and the holidays are here already so don’t delay as quantities are extremely limited!

240 Sullivan Street   |  159 Second Avenue