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The Short List

Five places for better brew than Charbucks

By Bill McAllister and Cindy Liu

Georgio’s Coffee

146 West Jericho Tpke., Huntington.



While Georgio Testani is a roaster first and foremost, he and his wife Lydia brew an impressive cup of coffee. Testani recently premiered the only siphon bar on LI, which he uses to prepare many of the more exotic coffees he roasts. Siphon pots are heralded by many coffee enthusiasts as the best way to prepare drip coffee and are a sight to see. The premium beans and excellent preparation make this our choice for the best brewed coffee on Long Island. Besides the excellent coffee that he serves up, his shop is a museum of coffee equipment, with machinery ranging from pulpers to antique roasters to hand mills.

Owners Justine Poldino (l.) and Jeff Arthur at Pisces Café in Babylon. Photo Credit:

Owners Justine Poldino (l.) and Jeff Arthur at Pisces Café in Babylon. Photo Credit:

Pisces Café

14A Railroad Ave., Babylon.


“If you could get it better somewhere else, why would you come here?” says Jeff Arthur, co-owner of Pisces Café with Justine Poldino. That being said, the staff’s barista skills fall within this mindset. If you want some good coffee or espresso, Pisces will easily sate you, but the eccentricity of the staff and menu will bring you back. Drink favorites include the Darth Vader, a milk shake so rich and evil it could go by no other name, and the Mystery Shake, which will always be delicious even if you don’t know what it is…and is free if you can figure out the ingredients in three guesses.

Massapequa Perk

117 Front St., Massapequa Park.


The only traditional espresso bar on Long Island, owner Lisa DiBenedetto is trying to change the way Long Islanders think about coffee. “We try to re-educate our customers,” she says. The country of origin for their drip coffee changes daily and is displayed prominently behind the counter, the point being to make people aware of what they’re drinking and present them with “a little geography and history lesson in a cup.”


95 Mineola Blvd., Mineola.


Aside from its lively aesthetic, Mo’Joe places a growing emphasis on their barista skills. Their house drip blend includes seven different beans, including at least one award-winning coffee. Besides their custom blend, they also offer coffee from Sumatra on a daily basis. While Mo’Joe is continually evolving in the realm of craftsmanship, at their core is always good coffee.

Love Lane Kitchen

240 Love Ln., Mattituck.


Having been in the business for just three years, the Love Lane crew demonstrates their enthusiasm not just through words, but also in the cup. Their drip offering is diverse, featuring a house blend that combines beans from Costa Rica and Guatemala, as well as single origin coffees from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Kenya. However, any coffee enthusiast absolutely must try their espresso, expertly blended by Roast Master Greg Heinz and beautifully prepared by well-trained baristas.

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