Superior Merchandise: The Most Beautiful, Brooklyn-y Coffee Shop That Isn't in Brooklyn
Superior Merchandise doesn't even want to be in Brooklyn. They already have it all. A sun-drenched, bright-white, plant-filled space. Impeccable coffee. Beer, cider, and wine to drink in-house or in their picture-perfect yard. To-go bottles. Crazy-delicious snacks. Carefully curated books and goods (all of which I wanted to take home). A steady stream of attractive people stepping through the front door. And the lovely owners were even nice to my kids. What is going on here? Oh, we're not in Brooklyn anymore, honey. Welcome to Troy.
This was our first trip to Troy, which is located just outside of Albany and is home to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It kind of feels like Williamsburg, when Williamsburg still felt cool.
The menu centers around toasts, like the Coco Matcha Magic, pictured above. This thick hunk of brioche is spread with house-made matcha macadamia nut butter, drizzled with coconut milk caramel, and then sprinkled with coconut flakes, puffed quinoa, and edible flower petals. It's like someone imagined what would be The Most Millennial Food Ever and turned that dream into a sweet-but-not-too-sweet, delicious reality.
Ramona had her eye on the Sorrel Avo Toast, pictured above. Two pieces of sourdough were generously piled with buttery avocado, herbaceous sorrel pesto, creamy cheese, refreshing watermelon radishes, black sea salt, and seasonal greens, which were studded with yellow flower buds. I could eat this savory toast every day.
I'm still dreaming about the Black Sesame Latte, pictured at right. Superior Merchandise takes a shot of espresso to the toastiest, nuttiest next-level by adding black sesame seeds, toasted coconut, and steamed milk. It's creamy, rich, sweet, and almost a little bit salty.
In the front of the shop, you'll find an artistic selection of goods, including gorgeously drippy Brian Geniewski mugs, cups, and vases, streamlined-yet-whimsical Yiyi Mendoza ceramics, marbleized pastel textiles by Christin Ripley. On your way to the seating area, you'll pass a few shelves of brightly packaged and beer-nerd approved cans and bottled. The pineapple print on the Mikkeller tall boy of Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse was hard to resist.
And the backyard is also perfect, right down to the sage and gray plant troughs, and the iridescent pink water cups.
There's so much attention to detail that even the draft list, written in white on a sheet of clear plexiglass and hung from a gray picket fence, is beautiful and inspired. It's just all so good. We're in a solid, long-term relationship with Brooklyn, but if you're someone looking for a place to escape, Superior Merchandise Company makes a good case for Troy.