Inside Look: OddFellows Coffee & Cream, NYC

Known for their whimsical flavors and quirky collaborations, James Beard nominated chef Sam Mason and Mohan Kumar of OddFellows Ice Cream Co. have added a new brick-and-mortar to their sweet empire, called Coffee & Cream. “We’ve always wanted to have a shop that incorporated both ice cream and coffee, but we just needed to find the right location and coffee expert to really make the concept work,” says co-owner Mohan Kumar of the NoLita café. “The goal is to execute the coffee program with the same level of integrity as we do with ice cream.”

The shop is bright and airy, melding the playful personality of OddFellows with the nostalgia of old-school ice cream parlors. Mason and Kumar designed the space themselves, aiming for a look that would stay true to the original OddFellows style but still feel unique to Coffee & Cream. “We have light wood floors, a white brick wall, a fun turquoise blue banquette, as well as an upgraded version of our signature striped wall and, of course, vintage cymbal-clapping monkeys,” says Kumar.

The menu will be divided into three sections—Coffee, Cream, and Coffee & Creams—to highlight the intersections between the coffee and ice cream programs. Beverage director Andy Mullins (previously of Nobletree Coffee) has assembled a rotating list of roasters from around the country to anchor the coffee program, starting with Café Integral and including Ritual, Colectivo, Verve, Dark Matter, Metric, and more. Drip coffee and classic espresso-based drinks will share billing with signature items like a cold-brew milkshake, affogato, espresso con panna and a drink they call Café Liégeois—a shot of espresso, scoop of coffee crunch ice cream, whipped cream, and coffee soil. They’ll also have a variety of non-coffee drinks, including kombucha, matcha and other teas from Smith.

Mason’s experience as pastry chef at Wylie Dufresne’s WD~50 will also come into play via new techniques and flavors for both the 12 rotating ice cream flavors and the specialty drinks. “He’s utilizing a few of his more quirky techniques in items like our infused milks, like Smoked Raisin Milk and Toast Milk that can be used in regular coffee or specialty lattes,” says Kumar. “The milk infusions are an extension of the creativity we put into all of our ice cream flavors and we plan to rotate them regularly. One of our favorites is the Thai Iced Tea Milk because it’s inspired by our signature Thai Iced Tea ice cream flavor.”

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy the classics and be able to branch out and try some of our unique offerings as well,” Kumar adds. “We’re pretty much a café with ice cream, two things we think people can enjoy every day.”


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