MADE Hotel’s Paper Coffee still believes in the timeworn tradition of pairing a cup of coffee and a newspaper. It’s name, says MADE’s food and beverage lead, Charles Seich, honors the ritual of people’s daily coffee and paper—even if most of the posh shop’s patrons consume their daily news on small devices these days.
Practically every aspect of this hotel, in fact, encourages similar rituals of relaxation. So much that you’ll be tempted to spend your entire day here, from its lobby provisions of liquor and caffeine to the hidden garden terrace upstairs. This predilection for eternal lounging may serve as a contrast to its Midtown quarters, an area that typically encourages folks to be on the go. Nonetheless, MADE Hotel excels as a sleek yet laid back contrast to both its neighborhood—and even its neighboring hotels. The lobby-level Paper Coffee only marks the beginning of what may end up being your long-term stay, whether it’s in a hotel room or at the community table with a brew and the headlines.
Conceived by hotel entrepreneur Sam Gelin, MADE Hotel made its landing in New York this past September, the result of a six-year-long project focused on a space for young, creative clientele and others alike.
“He [Gelin] focuses a lot on texture, quality, handmade items, intimately designed spaces, places where people can meet comfortably,” says Seich, who worked very closely with Gelin in planning the coffee, the restaurant, and the bar at MADE. During development, Gelin also worked with Milo Garcia of Studio Mai, a firm responsible for well-oiled L.A. dining establishments like Gjelina, Hinoki and the Bird, and Verve Coffee Roasters.
The latest cafe project in Studio Mai’s portfolio, Paper Coffee is in the hotel entryway with massive windows that extend to the ceilings of the space, encouraging natural light to pour in. The cafe space spills naturally from the lobby to a spacious, outdoor terrace that’s teeming with plant life. The design itself takes a minimalist and brutalist approach, with smooth cement and white tones balanced by sleek, deep woods for many of the walls and ceilings, with subtle but pervasive influences from multiple Pacific coasts.
“To me, Milo’s aesthetic references Japanese design a lot as well as this sort of underlying California vibe to it,” says Seich. “The whole hotel has a very bohemian vibe. The openness of it, although not always prominent in New York, is awesome,” says Seich.
While Paper Coffee and MADE impress with design alone, Paper’s beverage program is already on a healthy start thanks to its ample resources readily available from the hotel’s bar and restaurant, which supply most of their house-made ingredients for its experimentation and operations. The coffee is backed by Brooklyn’s Devocion Roasters, who lend a hand to a standard menu of espresso-milk drinks, plus a few specialty items like a matcha lemonade and the Vietnamese—a layered macchiato with condensed milk, espresso, and milk foam. Coffee is brewed on a simple, reliable La Marzocco Linea PB and served in tasteful Heath Ceramics wares.
While Devocion remains the roaster of record, Paper will also feature a rotating roasters program curated by the cafe’s head barista Andrew Ho (formerly of Box Kite and co-owner of subscription service Collected Coffees), which will feature a new roaster every six weeks or so.
Morning treats here feature egg sandwiches and healthy yogurts/chia puddings from the restaurant, but NYC’s Patisserie Chanson and Ovenly fill their pastry case with chocolate croissants and a drool-worthy black sesame kouign amann. Rishi supplies the tea.
In addition to consistent coffees and design, expect friendly faces and name recognition by your third cappuccino—both MADE and Paper Coffee intertwine guest experience with coffee and are making the hotel a space for both overnight guests and visitors feel excited to return.
And as Seich sees it, it’s the quality of their drinks that provides the real groundwork for their hospitality. “The more consistent the coffee is the more we can focus on showing people a great time when they come in and get friendly, efficient service.”
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