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Discussions > Regional > US East > Boston/Cambridge  
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ss2vegeta
Senior Member


Joined: 23 May 2003
Posts: 1
Expertise: Beginner

Posted Fri May 23, 2003, 11:32am
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

I went to Cafe Vittoria twice. My espresso came out over four ounces. It was what I believe to be robusta filled Lavazza. On another occasion, I ordered a cappuccino. Once again the espresso was horribly underextracted, and the foam (I hate to even identify it as foam) was aerated to amorphous oblivion.
Cafe Paradiso in Harvard Square performs a wonderful espresso extraction, consistently. The only problem is their imported Montano Brothers espresso is dirty and harsh. They do serve Illy espresso when requested. Their shot of Illy will knock your socks off.
Two visits to 1369. My cup of Sulawesi was good for a Sulawesi. My shot of espresso was not a shot of espresso.
Peace
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mgrignan
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2002
Posts: 77
Location: WY
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 23, 2003, 11:35am
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

I mostly drink lattes (not flavored or sweetened - I'm just a huge fan of espresso with milk), so I can't speak for the quality of their straight shots, but the SBC in Kendall Sq has reliably produced excellent lattes. I've never been to any other SBC's, so I don't know if they have a more thorough barrista training program than most chains, or if this location just happens to have a few highly competent barristas working there at the moment.

I've had some bad experiences with both locations (Inman and Central Sqs) of 1369 Coffeehouse. The espresso tasted burnt and over-extracted, and I'm suspicious of any coffehouse which makes mochas using Hershey's Syrup.
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dmauer
Senior Member
dmauer
Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 7
Location: Boston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia, Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Solis Maestro
Drip: a Braun of some kind
Roaster: I live in a small condo and...
Posted Wed Aug 13, 2003, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

I haven't bought any beans from Copacafe (George Howell's place), but I did go there for drinks... and let me tell you, best espresso drinks I have EVER had.  I don't know if it was just one spectacularly good barista, but wow.  The espresso shot I tried was perfect, and the latte was just magnificent.  Perfectly foamed/frothed milk, and absolutely pristine latte art to boot.  The place was pretty comfortable, and reasonably priced, as well.  It is *definitely* worth the trip out to lexington.

-dan.

lataylor2 Said:

How about local roasters?
I'm also waiting to see what George Howell (former owner of Coffee Connection) does in his new store in Lexington... However, it would have to be pretty good in order to get me out to the 'burbs.

Anyone have any roaster recommendations?

Posted July 6, 2002 link

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bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Fri Nov 28, 2003, 11:12pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

dan, have you been back to the copacafe since this review?  i went there wednesday night and found the latte "ok" and the espresso quite bitter.  the latte tasted quite good but there was no latte art to speak of (which was a big reason i trekked out to lexington), and the foam was barely better than mine (i've only been making my own stuff for a couple weeks).

have you found it inconsistent depending on barista?  anyway, i'm hoping they have more to offer ... it looked like a very charming and promising spot.

j
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labiotti
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Sep 2004
Posts: 15
Location: Rochester Hills
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax
Grinder: Cunill El Cafe Tranquilo
Roaster: Fresh Roast +8
Posted Thu Jan 6, 2005, 8:41pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

Hi,

I'm going to Boston/Cambridge next week. I have read through the whole thread and I wanted to know if there is any positive news on the espresso scene. Where can I get really fresh and tasteful espresso?

Thanks,

labiotti
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bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Thu Jan 6, 2005, 9:13pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

I never had all that much luck while I lived there, and my highest hopes were for Copacafe, which I don't think is around any more ... not sure.  Paradiso and Vittoria may be your best bets.  I have since then tried Gimme Coffee in Brooklyn, and I can say for sure that nothing I've had in the Northeast even comes close to it (although it can be variable there as well).

If you have time and are willing to put in some effort though, I would strongly suggest contacting Geroge Howell of Terroir and seeing what he has to say.  He'd be in the Hall of Fame if there were such a thing in coffee, and he's uniquely approachable and happy to chat with even a newbie (like me).  You can try contacting him via their web site (http://www.terroircoffee.com), or they might just find you if you express interest on coffeegeek.

I also put together a small list on a yahoo group's database, but I think you have to have membership to see it ... apparently I can't make it public ... so go to (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/boston-espresso/) and click on "Join" ... I should get an email to add you then.

g'luck, and welcome to beantown.  come to think of it, for a town called BEANtown, what the he--'s up with the crummy coffee?

j
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bostonbri
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2004
Posts: 132
Location: Boston
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulser
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Capresso...
Drip: Clarity
Roaster: Hearthware iRoast
Posted Mon Jan 10, 2005, 1:14pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

The Copacafe in Lexington is long gone.  Unfortunately, I don't have any recommendations for a good place to go.
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Clingstone
Senior Member
Clingstone
Joined: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 165
Location: Boston, MA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea and...
Grinder: Vario and Rocky D.Less
Vac Pot: Cona D
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Jan 10, 2005, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

Yeah, Boston sure is a tough place for decent espresso. The 1369 Cafe in Inman Sq., Camb. is okay. The Other Side Cafe at Newbury and Mass. Ave. in Boston does good shots. It's not a coffee shop per se, but get good espresso where you can in Bosotn. Good luck!

 
"AND THE BOSTON RED SOX HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!??"
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SL28ave
Senior Member
SL28ave
Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 796
Location: Rockville, MD
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Mon Jan 10, 2005, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

Wow, this thread goes way back.

I work for the 1 year old company George Howell's Terroir Select Coffees in Acton; a 40 minute drive from Boston. You are all welcome to visit our facility, just e-mail me directly beforehand. Seminars will be offered to the public in the near future as well.

We do have a couple new Boston area cafe wholesale accounts. Though, this is really not our focus.

Mail order coffee is currently our main business, but we're working our retail bags into store shelves now too. As many of you know, we currently don't have our own cafe. Copacafe has unfortunately (and fortunately) closed its doors. I remember moving to Boston a month before Copacafe opened to work for George Howell. The first week in Boston I was pouring thousands of rosettas with ex-World Barista Champion Martin Hildebrandt of Cafe Europa tediously training my shaky hands. And Luis Paschoal, owner of the coffee farm that has provided more coffee for Illy than any other farm in the world for ten years straight, working intensively with us to find the sweetspot of his highest quality Daterra lots. It was a revolutionary month for me!

But, Copacafe became a monster. It was a full fledged RESTAURANT that opened at the wrong place at the wrong time. These kinds of blunders happen. I'm not surprised in the least that Bloocanary had a bitter espresso; there should be NO bitterness in the Terroir's North Italian Daterra espresso. I hope people realize that this IS not a reflection on Terroir or its beans. There were huge managerial blunders and this is why Copacafe closed within 2 years of its being open.

Perhaps there will some day be a Terroir coffee shop; not a grand cafe restaurant! I'm dying to do something about the glut in good cafe coffee in Boston. But, George has me pinned down to making sure every bean that enters a retail bag well represents what the craftsman farmer provided us. For now we can not divert our attention away from the beans. We're extremely focused now, doing some special and revolutionary things in our Acton facility, and you're all welcome to share this journey with us.

When're you gonna stop by again Bloocanary?
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bloocanary
Senior Member
bloocanary
Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 362
Location: SAN FRANCISCO
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: rancilio silvia
Grinder: solis maestro
Vac Pot: yama (imploded)
Posted Mon Jan 10, 2005, 5:25pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

SL28ave Said:

I'm not surprised in the least that Bloocanary had a bitter espresso; there should be NO bitterness in the Terroir's North Italian Daterra espresso. I hope people realize that this IS not a reflection on Terroir or its beans. There were huge managerial blunders and this is why Copacafe closed within 2 years of its being open.

When're you gonna stop by again Bloocanary?

Posted January 10, 2005 link

I'll vouch for that ... I felt like the bitterness was a result of poor barista work ... and the barista who built my drink was *not* Peter (SL28ave).  It also could have just been a fluke ... as I mentioned, I had my best drink ever at Gimme in Brooklyn, but I also had some bitter shots there on other occasions (probably a result of more training & experience for the baristas who served me).

In any case, when I visited Terroir, Peter and George gave me an eye-opening intro to *real* coffee ... while I was a little shocked by the difference so my neanderthal tastes weren't sure what to make of it, it was blatantly obvious that they took insane care creating their coffees, and that the taste was pure and unadulterated, with not a bit of subtlety drowned out by processing.

Peter, I would love to drop by again ... except I'm not in the area again until later this year.  I just got a tiny bit of a breather, and managed to unpack my Silvia and dust it off (and get back on CoffeeGeek).  I read about Daterra, and am dying to try it ... once I warm up a little on cheaper coffee at the local supermarket (I'm back at learning how to warm up the machine).  Daterra would be a little too precious to waste right now.  Glad to hear you're still having fun though!

j
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