© kate krader
MY cortado and ginger molasses cookie at Bluebird.Going to Bluebird Coffee Shop with Oliver Strand, an F&W contributor and the New York Times’s coffee expert nonpareil, is a little like sitting at the judging table with Simon Cowell on a good day (say, the day Susan Boyle auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent). Strand has called out Bluebird, the microscopic and adorable East Village coffee shop in New York City, for its ginger-molasses cookie. And more importantly for its cortado, a drink that’s very roughly half espresso and half steamed milk. Strand put the beverage on the map in recent Times stories and blogs (my favorite is entitled "A Cortado Is Not a Minivan"). Entertainment Weekly apparently recently proclaimed, "In: Cortados. 5 Min Ago: Cappuccinos." Says Strand, “Some places have told me they noticed people who have never been to an independent coffee place before asking for a cortado—for the full independent-coffee experience." Indeed, coffee places are pulling more cortados than ever. Strand estimates that Bluebird went up from about 70 a day to nearly 500 right after his big Times piece came out. So of course, when I was at Bluebird with Strand, I had a cortado. He had a shot of espresso.