By Sherry Mazzocchi
After Buunni took over Inwood’s Darling Coffee, the new coffee shop had a distinctly different vibe.
In just one weekend, the slightly freewheeling Darling spirit seemed to give way to a more subdued sensibility. It’s a perception that Buunni co-owner Sarina Prabasi says many customers have noticed and mentioned.
A few reasons for that can be found in her new book, The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times, published by Green Writers Press and due out April 9, with a book launch party at Buunni’s new Inwood location.
The book describes how Prabasi and her husband, Elias Gurmu, first met in Ethiopia and how coffee was integral to their blossoming romance. The author, who refers to herself as a “global nomad,” shares the nuances of ordering the perfect macchiato at the storied coffeehouses of Addis Ababa. Their romance unfolds and gives way to marriage, children, and an epic move across continents to a small Washington Heights apartment. It is only a little while after they settle in New York when they have passed a small storefront for rent on Pinehurst Avenue and think, “What if?”
The Pinehurst location became the first Buunni Coffee location, and was enthusiastically welcomed by uptown coffee drinkers. But what regulars may not know is the gentle way the two instill respect and reverence for coffee in the employees.