Home LifestyleCareer 9 Bar Cafe in Jersey City: Authentic Italian Coffee in a Stylish Space

9 Bar Cafe in Jersey City: Authentic Italian Coffee in a Stylish Space

by Yiwei Gu
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Rome-born and raised Stephania Cocozza, always had a vision for her own coffee shop. “A cozy place that was not a cookie-cutter cafe – traditional but with twentieth-century twists.” There should be fresh Italian pastries. The space is good for small and intimate gatherings – and the espresso drinks must be excellent. So after a twenty-year career working for big coffee companies, when she decided to open 9 Bar Cafe, the preparation was painstaking. It took Stephania a year to find a perfect spot, which ended up being at 18 Erie Street and later, 200 Greene Street in Jersey City, “a unique small space in an old building located in a quiet neighborhood.” Read on to learn more about 9 Bar Cafe in Jersey City.

9 Bar Cafe

The Space

9 Bar Cafe

The original location opened in February 2015, aptly named after the industry-standard nine-bar pressure applied when brewing espresso. It expanded to a second, larger location two years later, in the Urby Apartment building near Exchange Place.

9 Bar Cafe

The two locations follow different aesthetics. The Erie Street shop, with its French windows, exposed brick walls, dark-toned wood furniture, is quaint and intimate.

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The Urby location, high-ceilinged and flooded with light, is sleek and more contemporary. The layout is thoughtful and highly functional, with different areas designated for remote working, small gatherings, or casual meet-ups. 

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The Menu

9 Bar Cafe

The menu is compact. There are “flavored” coffee and tea drinks — mocha, matcha latte, chai latte, served hot or iced — and the options do not wander far off the familiar terrain. Its strongest suit is the espresso itself. A nice volume of viscous potion, beautiful crema on top. It’s potent, but easy on the palate. The flavors are distinct but extremely smooth. There is no overwhelming bitterness and acidity. 

9 bar cafe

Cappuccinos and macchiatos are also excellent, with their silky foams and layered froth-milk texture. Affogato (a scoop of ice cream drowned with a shot of espresso) and shakerato (espresso, ice cubes, syrup shaken together like a martini) are available in summer.

“I wanted to keep it simple, consistent and distinctive,” Cocozza said of the beans. The espresso uses a medium-roast house blend custom roasted at a facility owned by a good friend. The regular coffee uses a dark roast, also custom-roasted.

Passion for Perfection 

9 bar cafe

(Photo credit: @9barcafe)

Stephania’s approach to the food and beverage offerings is just as focused as her quest for the right space. 

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To start, the barista training was, as still is, meticulous.  “I teach them everything, from the history of coffee to the technique of making the perfect espresso and the preparation of the steaming of the milk,” Cocozza told Hoboken Girl

9 bar cafe

(Photo credit: @9barcafe)

Pastries and sweets are also prepared with diligent attention. Croissant doughs are shipped frozen from Italy, thus the plump shape iconic of a “cornetto”, and freshly baked daily. So are the pão de queijo (cheese bread, made of parmesan and tapioca flour), which are imported from Brazil. 

9 bar cafe

(Photo credit: @9barcafe)

Cakes, butter cookies, and quiches are made in-house – while some other specialties are sourced from local bakeries. Get the custardy, rum-infused canelé whenever they are available the burnished crust crackles beautifully like the outer crumbs of sourdough. 

To stay in the know with 9 Bar Cafe, follow along on Instagram at @9barcafe.


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