Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal + The Best Espresso in NYC

There is a recipe in this post. I promise. To read about my year of drinking an absurd amount of espresso, read on. To skip to the recipe, scroll away, my friends.

Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal

2014 was the year of the bagel. For 2015, Allison and I set out on a different adventure: visit the best coffee shop in 30 NYC neighborhoods according to Thrillest.

(Of course, we weren’t completely pleased with their choices, as some incredible shops were noticeably absent, and there were THREE shops in Midtown . . . but we attacked the list regardless.)

Allison likes to switch up her order–ranging from iced lattes to cortados to cold brews. I stick to the same order every time: espresso. Call me hardcore, but I love the hit of a well-done espresso. I like being able to truly taste the quality of the shop’s roasting. Some espresso is too bitter and harsh and needs a bit of simple syrup (or honey because I’m “one of those vegans”–go ahead and berate me in the comments; I can handle your lambasting), while others are strong but mellow, perfectly sippable on their own.

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Typical: Allison’s cortado, my espresso

My favorites? Well, I’m so glad you asked. 🙂

For me, a huge part of the coffee shop experience is simply the ambiance and decor. If it’s a cozy space to be in, I will love it, no matter what the espresso tastes like. (Thankfully, none of these shops had espresso that I would label “bad.” How could they make the list otherwise?)

10. Sit & Wonder in Prospect Heights (Brooklyn)

This little shop had beautiful blue cups and saucers, as well as many bearded men wearing flannel and vintage hats. I love me a hipster hangout.

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 9. Variety Coffee in Bushwick (Brooklyn)

This Bushwick gem (which I had not heard of before the challenge, despite living in the area for most of my NY life) was open and airy, unlike most coffee shops in New York. As in, you can comfortably walk from one side of the shop to the other without hitting anyone in the head with your backpack or squeezing between two tiny tables. They even had vanilla-flavored syrup that was made in house. Cool.

Fun fact: I wrote this post from this coffee shop because now I’m a Brooklyn resident and I go here on the regular.

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8. Culture Espresso in Midtown (Manhattan)

I could have sat in this bright, charming spot forever. Despite being in Midtown (i.e. hell on earth), this shop was calm and just tucked away enough to not receive a ton of foot traffic. (Let’s be honest: most people in Midtown are going to Starbucks and Dunkin.) What really made me love this place was the wallpaper. I’m a sucker for gorgeous wallpaper.

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7. Everyman Espresso in Soho (Manhattan)

This spot was tucked away right off Canal Street, making it feel more like Chinatown than Soho. This place had limited seating, but FULL GLASSES of sparkling water (not pictured) like it was no big deal. Plus, it had the friendliest baristas. Hands down.

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6. Propellor Coffee Co. in Greenpoint (Brooklyn)

This coffee shop is a pain to get to (curse that G train!), but well worth the struggle. If I recall correctly, they also had their own house-flavored vanilla syrup (like vanilla beans floating in simple syrup). But what really set this place apart was the vintage charm. Look at that spoon! And the music. When they started playing “Check Yo Self” by Ice Cube, I almost imploded.

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5. The Hungry Ghost in Fort Greene (Brooklyn)

The Hungry Ghost has a few locations in Brooklyn, and I love all of them. This was my first time at this specific location, and all I have to say is: LOOK AT THAT FLOOR.

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4. Fort Defiance in Red Hook (Brooklyn)

This was our last spot on the challenge, mostly because we were procrastinating hardcore. If I thought Greenpoint was difficult to get to, then Red Hook felt nearly impossible. It is inaccessible by train and requires a long, tedious bus ride. Allison and I arrived in a miserably crabby state, muttering about how this coffee better be [expletive] incredible.

It was. Also, those tables can only be described as magical.

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 3. The Daily Press in Bed-Stuy (Brooklyn)

MILES from the part of Bed-Stuy I once called home, this coffee shop was one of the coziest shops I’ve ever been in. Right off the A train, this place gives complementary sparkling water with their espresso, and, most importantly, THEY HAVE A PATIO in the back! (We still sat inside because it was still winter. But it’s the thought that counts.)

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 2. Irving Farm in the Upper West Side (Manhattan)

Some of the stops were just memorable experiences. Irving Farm in the Upper West Side had outdoor seating, and we were there on the first beautiful day of spring. I’m a sucker for sitting in sidewalk seating. It’s such a New York feeling, like, “Look at me, I’m just sitting around in my carefully chosen spring outfit, indulging in life’s luxuries!” Also, look at that crema! That was some delicious espresso (despite being decaf because it was my second espresso of the day–woops) AND a great, friendly staff.

Okay, I lied before. Irving Farm had the friendliest staff. And I’m not just saying that because they complimented our outfits. (But maybe I am.) Regardless, Everyman Espresso was a very close second.

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 1. Sweetleaf in Long Island City (Queens)

Notice that my top four places all served their espresso with complementary sparkling water, which I think should be mandatory. It’s a common European practice to help prevent dehydration, but also to cleanse the palate between each intense sip of espresso. It truly heightens the experience. The places that offered a glass of sparkling water were consistently my favorite spots. In fact, I became so hooked that I would often fork over the extra $3 to buy a Pellegrino to accompany my espresso if it weren’t offered automatically. And losing those $3 makes me resentful, and that’s bad business. Right? 🙂

Anyway, Sweetleaf had it all. Ample seating, chill music, vintage seating and decor, vegan and gluten-free and “regular” baked goods and sandwiches, and multiple rooms for different purposes. There was a library, a music room with records (if I remember correctly), and then the front, general seating pictured here. Oh, and of COURSE it had sparkling water. 😉

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You can see both of our pictures from all 30 stops by searching the hashtag #yearofcaffeine on Instagram. Give us some likes! Feed our egos! 🙂

And eventually, I ran out of creative ways to take pictures of espresso, so this happened:

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P.S. What coffee shops do I love that should have made the list?

  1. Little Skips in Bushwick (Brooklyn) – no idea how this didn’t make the list.
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  2. Toby’s Estate Coffee in multiple locations – Do you see that drink in Allison’s hand? That’s an “espresso julep.” Think ‘mint julep’ + iced latte. Also, the espresso is amazing and comes with sparkling water.
  3. Birch Coffee in multiple locations (not my picture) – has nobody at Thrillest ever had a Birch Coffee? Really?!?!Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.09.15 AM
  4. 12 Corners in Chinatown (Manhattan) – quality coffee in Chinatown? C’mon.
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  5. Konditori in multiple locations (photos below)

Now for that recipe I promised you.

Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal #vegan

One of my favorite coffee shops that didn’t make the list is Konditori. It has several locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. They have many specialties, but my two favorites are the Swedish Tonic (espresso + tonic water, over ice):

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 9.42.16 AM. . . bagels, muffins, and well-labeled cookies and desserts:

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…and their homemade flavored syrups.

During the winter, they had flavors like Cardamom Honey, Mocha Orange Peel, Maple, and Coconut. I don’t normally add syrups/flavors to my drinks, but I simply could not resist sampling these concoctions. My favorite, hands down, was the coconut. So this next recipe is inspired by my beloved Iced Coconut Americano from Konditori.

Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal by the Oatmeal Artist

Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • between 1/4 and 1/2 cup pureed or grated zucchini or yellow squash* (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/4 cup coconut-based or coconut-flavored yogurt
  • splash of milk of choice (coconut recommended)
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules (adjust to preferences)
  • 1 tsp (or more) maple syrup (I omitted)
  • shaved or shredded coconut for topping (I toasted mine)

How to make it:

  1. Mix all ingredients except shaved coconut in a mason jar or other type of Tupperware (anything with a lid).
  2. Add more liquid if necessary. It depends on the thickness of your yogurt and how much pureed zucchini you are using. I only needed to add a couple tablespoons of coconut milk.
  3. Do a taste test and adjust coffee and sweetener to your preferences.
  4. Cover and leave in fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  5. In the morning, top with coconut and possibly more yogurt. I recommend eating this cold (yogurt tastes unpleasantly sour when reheated--even nondairy types!).
  6. Enjoy!

Just an FYI:

*I prefer yellow squash because it doesn't leave green streaks.

I was fortunate enough to have access to **the absolute best** nondairy yogurt I’ve ever had (it was $9 ON SALE and worth every penny). It’s called Anita’s Creamline and it’s made locally in Brooklyn, so unfortunately, I cannot recommend this as a feasible option for most of you. BUT if you’re in the NYC area, you simply must try this at least once (these are the locations it is currently available). It tastes like coconut. It tastes like yogurt. And most importantly, it did NOT taste like chemicals. It had the consistency of greek yogurt. It was the first time as a vegan that I wasn’t underwhelmed by a nondairy yogurt.

Bonus: each serving contains a mere 1 g of sugar. What?! Awesome. I wish I could afford to buy this weekly.

Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal - Anita's YogurtAnd that, my friends, concludes the world’s longest blog post. If you made it all the way to the end, high five!

About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

15 Responses to Coconut Latte Overnight Oatmeal + The Best Espresso in NYC

  1. Cassie says:

    Whoaaaaaa! Zucchini oatmeal in coconut latte form in a giant milk bottle????? That sounds absolutely delicious!

  2. Peggy says:

    I discovered your site this morning. I am so happy that I found someone else who loves oatmeal as much as I do. I was doubly thrilled to see you are an espresso lover, too. I have begun reading your posts and love this coconut latte oatmeal. Question on recipe: the oats are precooked or not cooked when they go in the mason jar? Can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thank you 🙂

    • Lauren Smith says:


      The oats are raw! They soften up by absorbing the liquid overnight and form a pudding-like texture by morning. You can eat them cold or heat them up and eat warm.

  3. Kia says:

    do you cook the zucchini first before you put it into the overnight oat mixture??

    • Lyndsey B says:

      I like to peel and shred mine, or if you don’t like the texture of the small pieces, you could puree it with the milk. I prefer zucchini in my stovetop or baked oatmeal, since it softens a bit when it is heated up 🙂

  4. Lyndsey B says:

    Oh yum! I am a coffee addict…so this post was very exciting to me. I have to say, I’m not the biggest fan of espresso, I like Cafe Americanos the best. As I am from the Midwest, so I am SO jealous that you are able to enjoy all of the quaint little coffee shops in NY. I am pretty much limited to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. 🙁 I have never had a coconut coffee, but I think I’ll make it homemade, and I will DEFINITELY try it in oatmeal!

  5. Christine says:

    How much milk do you consider a “splash”? Maybe one or two tablespoons? I noticed that most of your overnight oats recipes use 1/2 cup milk, but it looks like you use much less here.

  6. Christine says:

    You’re right about yogurt getting sour when heated. I’d still like to try this recipe warm – especially since it’s supposed to imitate a latte. Instead of adding the yogurt the night before, I’m going to try adding it in the morning, after I heat the oats. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  7. Christine says:

    This was my first time trying coconut milk and squash in oatmeal. I used unsweetened coconut milk, so I added a teaspoon of maple syrup for sweetener. I also used 1/4 cup puréed spaghetti squash. I may have been able to taste the squash slightly, although I don’t have much basis for comparison since it was my first time making this recipe. I’ll try it again, omitting the squash and using 1 teaspoon of chia seeds to thicken it.

  8. Christine says:

    Update: I made this again, omitting the squash and using 1 teaspoon of chia seeds to thicken the oats. In the morning. I heated the oats in the microwave and then stirred in the yogurt. Much better! The spaghetti squash taste did come through in the oatmeal I made yesterday. Now I know that spaghetti squash only works in recipes (such as pumpkin or sweet potato) where the squash matches the other flavors, or in recipes (such as chocolate) where the other flavors would hide the taste of the squash.

  9. Christine says:

    I finally got some yellow squash, so I made this recipe again using 1/3 cup. I knew I wanted to eat the oatmeal hot so I did not add the yogurt the night before. In the morning, I heated the oatmeal in the microwave and topped it with shredded coconut and a dollop of coconut-flavored yogurt. The oatmeal turned out much better than my previous attempts using spaghetti squash or no squash.

  10. Christine says:

    I made this as directed and ate it cold, instead of omitting the yogurt, heating the oatmeal, and adding the yogurt as a topping in the morning. OMG, it was fantastic! It tasted so much better than the way I was making it before. I highly recommend topping this recipe with extra coconut yogurt, to make it even more creamy and delicious. I also recommend toasting your coconut. It’s quick and easy to do in the microwave.

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