This Hidden Cafe Is Serving up a Rainbow of Lattes—From Beet to Blue Algae

Photo: Well+Good

While golden milk is starting to pop up at cafes all over New York City, you'd be hard up to find a spot serving up activated charcoal or blue algae lattes—until yesterday when vegan coffee shop The Good Sort opened its doors.

This small, out-of-the-way space in Chinatown (technically part of adjacent restaurant Chinese Tuxedo) has one of the city's widest selections of good-for-you lattes and teas—and a health-conscious breakfast menu.

Go now—it's about to become the blogger hotspot of the moment. And while many cafes only offer almond, coconut, and soy milk as a dairy alternative, The Good Sort also has oat milk on hand.

The Good Sort beet latte
Photo: Well+Good

"Almond milk has a distinct, nutty taste, so the flavor profile of oat milk is closer to lactose milk," says Eddy Buckingham, an Australian expat (because, of course) and co-owner of Chinese Tuxedo and The Good Sort. "It also has twice the fat content as almond milk—healthy fats–so it steams more similarly to dairy milk."

"The nucleus of the idea was to have an Australian espresso bar fused with a Chinese tea menu."

The menu was crafted with his Chinese-born business partner Jeff Lam, and it's a true marriage of the their two cultures. "The nucleus of the idea was to have an Australian espresso bar fused with a Chinese tea menu," Buckingham says. The teas have a strong Chinese influence with flavors like rose (steamed with real dried roses), green jasmine, and chrysanthemum.

The Good Sort
Photo: Well+Good

You might come for the drinks, but you'll stay for the food. There are baked goods—all vegan and dairy-free—like blueberry dropcake (with dried flowers on top for added oomph) and cacao beetroot cake, as well as a selection of congee bowls, a rice porridge popular in Asia and Australia. "The congees hit a lot of the notes people are looking for these days," Buckingham says. "It's low-glycemic, great for digestion."

Here, Buckingham shares the recipe for The Good Sort's breakfast congee exclusively with Well+Good—just in case you can't make it to Chinatown.

The Good Sort congee
Photo: The Good Sort

The Good Sort's Breakfast Congee

By Chef Paul Donnelly

For the congee base:
1 cup cooked short grain rice
2 cups almond milk

For the crunchy topping:
1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1 cup pepitas, toasted
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups blanched almonds, toasted chopped up into little chunks
1 cup olive oil
Drizzle of maple syrup
Dash of salt

For the fruit topping:
8 strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean

For the congee base:
1. In a food processor, pulse rice with a half teaspoon of water until the rice just begins to gather in a ball. The individual grains of rice should be about half the size from the start.

2. In a short sided pot, add the processed rice and almond milk over medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula for about five minutes or until the rice becomes a porridge texture.

For the crunchy topping:
1. Once all the nuts and seeds are toasted, combine with remaining ingredients and bake at 320°F for about 30 minutes, checking and stirring every eight minutes until ready—it should be golden. Don't worry if it's a bit soft when it's complete—it'll crunch up as it cools.

For the fruit topping:
1. All fresh berries should be washed at all times checked for any bruising or blemishes. Cut the strawberries in half and set aside.

2. In a small pot add the sugar, water, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.

3. Immediately after boiling, add the strawberries and turn off the stove. After about 20 minutes the strawberries will be tender and juicy. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the syrup. Feel free to add any other fresh fruit, like blueberries and golden kiwi.

The Good Sort, 5 Doyers St., New York, NY 10013, (646) 895-9301,

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