Successful modern restaurants are those which evoke pleasure through both their food and atmosphere. The more “instagrammable” the interior and décor, the more business it will attract — especially from millennials and Gen Z-ers. And in Ithaca, which has more restaurants per capita than NYC, the competition is fierce. There are at least a dozen coffee shops, each small, with high-quality beans and different spirits. The newest is Botanist Coffeehouse, a combination café and flower shop in Fall Creek. This collaboration began when the owners of each shop (Stacey Twigg and Matti Sgrecci) envisioned a collaborative space for plant and coffee lovers to sit and appreciate their products; The zen setting of a flower shop is the perfect place to sip espresso and munch on a scone.
Botanist officially opened its door on January 22 of the new year and is doing takeaway only for the near future. The café space is large and airy, featuring seating at high tables (although that is currently closed off) and shelves full of plants. In addition to the variety of coffee drinks, teas and baked goods, mixed bouquets, cacti, succulents and other potted plants can be purchased in-store. The combination of sleek black shelves and tables, red tiles and wooden accents creates a peaceful mood in the shop, and the strong smell of coffee blends perfectly with the earthy and floral scents.
On my visit to Botanist Coffeehouse, my friends and I tested four different drinks and one pastry. The espresso was strong with no bitter aftertaste and a great flavor. A nice light foam coated the latte, and the addition of honey was a lovely taste without being overly sweet. The drip coffee was good, although nothing out of the ordinary. The matcha was not very strong and slightly bitter, as there was no sweetener, but was a beautiful bright green. The drinks were reasonably priced in comparison with other boutique cafes in Ithaca.
Botanist Coffeehouse is a nice destination for good coffee, adorable plants and a different atmosphere. When the seating opens up, it will be a wonderful place to work, perhaps standing at the high tables, with all of the natural light and easy caffeine access.
Melanie Metz is a junior in the College of Human Ecology. She can be reached at [email protected].