Now that it is officially fall, wherever I go I am in search of that great cup of coffee.  It just seems fitting that as the days grow shorter and cooler, the leaves change and we start to bundle up, a steaming cup of coffee is really like an accessory. Coat, check; hat, check; scarf, check; gloves, check; and coffee cup in hand, check. All set to face the day. Full disclosure: I am addicted to Starbucks. But not for coffee really, for chai tea, green tea lemonade, even the new-ish strawberry acai refresher. That one I would probably like just because it’s really pretty, but I actually think it’s tasty, too. For coffee, though, I like to seek out the best craft beverages and they are usually found in great little independent coffeehouses. There is simply nothing like the feeling of community in a local coffeehouse, that greater-good fair trade component and the unique comfort in the vibe and aesthetic. So for this week’s Diversion I’ve been out and about sampling coffee for you.

Coffee Labs Roasters Inc.
7 Main St., Tarrytown
Located on Main Street in one of the hippest, most picturesque river towns, this award-winning coffeehouse has been plying locals and visitors with an amazing array of artisanal-roasted coffee for more than a decade.The energy is really friendly and chill with plenty of other beverage and food choices. Great music, roasting on premises and a stellar reputation for latte art make this a must on your coffee pursuit.

Why I Love It:
Because who doesn’t love original latte art?  Because they placed seconde in America’s Best Espresso in 2013 and are a 3-star green restaurant. Convenient to everything and when you are out and about traveling for your kids’ sports in the river towns, it’s the perfect place to grab your coffee.  By the way, it really is espresso, not expresso.

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Big Bang Coffee Roasters
1000 N. Division St. No. 9
@The Hat Factory, Peekskill
Big Bang Coffee Roasters is a cool, hip roastery located in The Hat Factory, a repurposed former factory that is now a creative hub and business incubator. A little off the beaten path but worth the hunt for a great cup of clean, organic craft coffee served with a smile by owner Elina Dart. Known around the Hudson Valley for its sustainable coffee varieties on the farmer’s market circuit and its wholesale presence at local coffeehouses, it is making a significant impact with its home delivery and subscription coffee products.  

Why I Love It:
Because its coffee is great and its story even better. Stop in and talk to Elina and learn about how her love for coffee and for making the world a better place have resulted in this little slice of coffee heaven. If you want to just grab a cup, order online, but it’s much more enjoyable to stop in and chat while you sign up for your home delivery subscription.

41 Cedar St., Dobbs Ferry
Caffelatte feels like a coffee shop in Italy. The cozy décor, which includes pictures and posters of Italy on faux marble walls, will make you feel like you are worlds away from Westchester. Beautiful Italian music plays while guests enjoy their legendary espresso, Italian pastries, paninis and specialty coffee and tea. The owner is always present as are locals and tourists, many speaking Italian. This little gem is a great part of the foodie culture of this little river town but is also a throwback to the time when most of the residents hailed from the same part of Avellino in Italy, forming a robust local community. Leave your credit cards at home, because at Caffelatte, cash is king.

Why I Love It:
Because having grown up in Dobbs Ferry, I spent plenty of time at Caffelatte and while the town has changed so much, this little spot has not and that’s a good thing. It takes me right back and it’s so nice to see that this little oasis is the perfect spot for the community to come together for great coffee and to see the area through an old lens.