The Little Bear logo of the CREAM Coffee & Tea Shop.
Coffee & Tea Shop
7210 Third Avenue
(bet. 72nd & 73rd Streets)
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY
I have saved so many coins and dollar bills over the summer. Two penny jars full! It has been too hot and humid the past month to venture out for a treat but this weekend the weather was lovely. It was time to splurge on the kind of treats that make life sweet.
When I first saw the logo of the little bear on the shop awning I felt transported back to past vacations in Tokyo and Sapporo. The Japanese cute factor has always held a place in that universe of things I’m fond of. I had a feeling CREAM was going to fit into it, too.
The teas, coffees, muffins, scones and confections are only slightly higher than you’d pay at more run-of-the-mill coffee shops where you can get a cup of regular coffee, a sugar donut or a cinnamon raisin bagel. What my initial impressions of CREAM were:
- The excellent customer service.
- The knowledgeable barristas. They can explain every product and suggest what tea or coffee harmonize with the muffin or scone you’re considering.
- The baked goods are fresh, light and come in wonderful combinations of flavors.
- The inside is very small but relaxing. You never hear the clatter of dishes and the music is at a low volume.
On Saturday I had a Café Au Lait made using Stumptown Coffee. It was smooth and mild. Along with that I had a Pear Corn Muffin. It was soft and crumbly as corn muffins are but not dry. The only thing I missed was having a pat of butter to go with the muffin. I will ask next time. The total cost was $5. but I thought this treat was not only worth it but also well earned. It had been a very busy day and I accomplished completion of all errands early.
A late lunch on Sunday consisted of a cup of the de-caff blended tea called Gold. It was a mixture of blossoms and black tea that was light and very soothing when had with honey. I also had a Cheddar Scallion Scone and bought an extra one in case a friend joined me. The scone was very light with a smooth blend of flavors between the cheddar cheese and finely chopped bits of scallion inside the scones. The Cheddar and Scallion scones are $2.75 each and a medium cup of the Gold tea was $2.50
After my second visit to CREAM the initial delight in the cute factor plummeted. This is because there are laptop hobos and table hogs amongst the clientele. Management has a very lax policy towards customers who use the free Wi-Fi long after they have finished their coffee and no longer order anything else. This is the one area where I find CREAM lacking in it’s overall approach. It is simply not fair to other customers who come in sometimes buying more than a beverage to have to leave when they see the people sitting there talking non-stop and oblivious of other people’s needs. I spent less than 20 minutes on each visit to this shop and saw a young mother with her little girl have to leave when the child complained she wanted to sit down. Another time I saw a couple who bought several baked goods also have to leave because none of the table hogs showed any indication of leaving.
The conversations indicate a well-educated, well-travelled and well-off customer. You would think they’d at least show some courtesy towards other customers clustering at the counter and looking for a seat. There are many places one can work on their laptop such as at home. I cannot believe the clientele cannot afford internet access at home. Nor can I believe they simply have no where else to go and conduct a non-stop conversation. CREAM would benefit from a much tighter policy in regards to how much time a customer can spend using free Wi-Fi and when they need to buy an additional menu item to stay. It would show more thoughtfulness and consideration to the other customers who come into the shop and purchase more than a beverage. These are the customers you want to cultivate. These are the ones who contribute to the profitability and success of the business.
Note: I am not affiliated with any business I review in this blog nor do I receive any form of remuneration. These entries are for informational purposes only.