It seems as though summertime coffee has all the fun; that's when java lovers can take advantage of the added benefits of special brewing gear and a range of intricately spiced iced coffees. Winter's answer to this one-sidedness? Maple-syrup lattes sweetened with the finest locally tapped elixirs.
Here, a guide to New York's sweetest--and stickiest--morning brews:
71 Irving Place Coffee & Tea Bar This Union Square café blends wood-fired Deep Mountain syrup from Vermont with chocolaty Flying Donkey espresso ($5). If that doesn't satisfy your maple urge, snag a waffle with butter and maple syrup ($8). 71 Irving Pl.; 212-995-5252 or irvingfarm.com
MudSpot Dark grade B maple syrup gives Mud's lattes a mildly sweet touch. For an indulgent eye-opener, have your latte ($5) made with heavy cream--or order a two-ounce shot of maple syrup ($1) in a regular cup of joe. 307 E. Ninth St.; 212-228-9074 or mudnyc.com
Grounded This West Village shop offers a fully organic version, which combines light grade A syrup and milk from upstate with fair-trade coffee. 28 Jane St.; 212-647-0943 or groundedcoffee.com