Modca is a solid bakery and coffee shop in Williamsburg that has its own character. It is unique for a number of reasons: the decor, approach, and atmosphere are sophisticated, well designed, and mesh seamlessly. From the moment you walk in, one notices that Modca is not a bright, soft space, it is dark and almost dungeon-like. But, this style is also very elegant, very picturesque in an “old” and “urban” way. Rather than trying to appear like a warehouse through motifs, it truly looks like something converted from the early century. Instead of a chatty, warm atmosphere, the pace here is slow. Most customers are there solo busily working away at their computers. This is a stark contrast to other shops in the area and most I visited in NY, making Modca unique in many respects.
What I loved most, without a doubt, was the Mistral. Out of all the machines I have had the pleasure of working on, the Mistral is really something else, a machine that suggests a conscious effort to make a statement about standing out and having this showpiece on their counter. Really miss working on mine, it was great to connect with the barista over the specs.
Although my cap was quite foamy and paled in visible appeal, it was extremely tasty and enjoyable. The espresso flavors were very pronounced though the ratio was a little off for my tastes. The foam, milk, and espresso were not very cohesive and clearly stratified, which is of course a matter of personal preference. But, I generally like continuity in my caps. Still, the 49th Parallel espresso (my first time having their beans) had an excellent bitty aftertaste that was not bright but nice and heavy. My muffin was also excellent, very cake-y and not too sweet as to overwhelm the other flavors.
Unfortunately, while the sophisticated facade was pleasing to the eye, it did not exactly translate into an atmosphere that was inviting. While very culinary and undoubtedly professional, the service I received was modest and almost borderline arrogant. It was, for Santa Cruzians, like “Lulu’s with more ‘tude.” It may have just been my particular barista, but I felt that the store’s approach generally was for a particular clientele that values a certain kind of class. It was not for me, I just like coffee.
- The Mistral
- The motif that didn’t try to hard
Modca103 N. 3rd St.
(between Wythe Ave & Berry St)
Brooklyn, NY 11211