“The word sutra means ‘teaching’ in India, and people come here to learn about coffee,” said Chandra Wilson, who owns Café Sutra with her husband Lars Winkelbauer.
Lesson one: Use great beans (Wilson uses java from Intelligencia).
“They’re well known for great coffee and espresso beans,” she said.
Lesson two: Involve the community.
Each month, local artists exhibit their work at the cafe (photographer Lauren Asta’s work is on the walls right now) so you can study art while you down your espresso, latte or tea.
Lesson three: Don’t deny the sweet tooth.
Wilson stocks great desserts, from a “Moon Mountain Torte” (chocolate truffle cream, hazelnut, Oreos and chocolate cake, pictured) to those amazing cupcakes from Two Little Red Hens and equally astounding muffins from Blue Sky, both in Park Slope. There are also sandwiches and cold pasta dishes to eat in-house or take out as well.
Lesson four: Don’t forget the Yuppie flypaper.
The earth-colored room with its comfortable sofas has the most important feature, as far as caffeineds are concerned: free wireless Internet. But if you just need a real break from your coffee break, Sutra has a small patio that makes a lovely setting for sipping wine or beer.
Café Sutra Espresso and Dessert Lounge (639A Fifth Ave. at 18th Street in Park Slope) accepts MasterCard and Visa. Coffee and espresso: $2.95–$3.50; Sandwiches and pastas: $4.95; Desserts: $2.95–$3.95; pastries: $1.75–$2.00. The café is open from 8 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 10 pm on weekends. Subway: R to Prospect Avenue. For information call (718) 499-0279 or visit www.mycafesutra.com.