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Discussions > Regional > US East > Boston/Cambridge  
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CoffeeGal
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Joined: 4 Mar 2004
Posts: 12
Location: New York City
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jan 11, 2005, 8:20pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

It's a bit of a trek from the city, but check out The Java Room in Chelmsford.  It's fairly new, but I'm a big fan.  It's a beautiful, spacious place - more serious about their coffee than most places you'll see around the area.
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wannabeCG
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Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Vancouver, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: briel
Grinder: briel
Drip: melitta pour over
Posted Thu Dec 15, 2005, 6:00pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

I happened to be staying in Chelmsford this week for training in Westford and I tried the Java Room a couple of times.  I gotta say I was little disappointed.  I asked for a "double cap" and got a 20oz cup of espresso/milk.  It also looked like she was starting off well, but the shot was way over extracted.  Second drink was better when I specified the cup size and when to cut off the shots but still wasn't real happy.

On the recommendation of the vendor, I went to Mamma Java in Westford and it was better, comparable to a good s-bucks drink.  Talked to the owner (i think) and she said that she drinks the coffee which to me is important and also she roasts it as well.

Made it to Terroir this week (very nice folks and spent way to much) in Acton and on their recommendation I went to Simons Coffee @ 1736 Mass ave in Cambridge and it was very good, by far the best of my trip.  They use Terroir and I tried both the north and south italian roast espresso and was very happy with both.  Only issue if I had to find one was the size of the drinks, The macchiato was closer to a traditional cap but was not really a problem.  The micro foam was very good too, maybe a touch thin.

Also made it to Caffe Graffiti in the North End and it was pretty good.  It was a little sour, but the macchiato was traditional in size and very drinkable.  The atmosphere was cool, lots of Italian being spoken.
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bloocanary
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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 Dec 15, 2005, 9:51pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

can't believe you didn't make it to simon's, as i strenuously suggested ... only great cup in boston imho.

oh well ... future visitors, heed my comments ...

j
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wannabeCG
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Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Vancouver, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: briel
Grinder: briel
Drip: melitta pour over
Posted Sun Dec 18, 2005, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

bloocanary Said:

can't believe you didn't make it to simon's, as i strenuously suggested ... only great cup in boston imho.

oh well ... future visitors, heed my comments ...

j

Posted December 15, 2005 link

wannabeCG Said:

Made it to Terroir this week (very nice folks and spent way to much) in Acton and on their recommendation I went to Simons Coffee @ 1736 Mass ave in Cambridge and it was very good, by far the best of my trip.  They use Terroir and I tried both the north and south italian roast espresso and was very happy with both.  

Posted December 15, 2005 link

check again :) made it Simons and liked it.  Thanks for recommendation.  

Also went to Diesel cafe or coffee house on Elm in Somerville and it liked it a lot too.  It was tasted really sweet to me, almost thought they had added a flavoring
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Clingstone
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Clingstone
Joined: 18 Nov 2002
Posts: 165
Location: Boston, MA
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Espresso: Isomac Tea and...
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Posted Mon Dec 26, 2005, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

Have to give a big BRAVO to Simon's in Cambridge. Like many geeks out there, I'm an espresso snob and had yet to find a cafe, restaurant, friend or anyone who could beat my SM's Monkey blend iRoast roasted ground/pulled on my Rocky/Isomac set up. These guys were (as much as it pains me to admit) at least as good as my best shots. Jamie the barista was a true pro and incredibly knowledgable. Once again, hats off to Simon's!!!!

p.s. - I don't work them, know the owners/staff personally, am not a vender, etc.

 
"AND THE BOSTON RED SOX HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!??"
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FlyingSnow
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Joined: 26 Oct 2009
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Location: MI
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra Micro Casa a Leva
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Posted Mon Apr 19, 2010, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

TASTE COFFEE HOUSE  311 Walnut St. Newtonville, MA. It is excellent! You must try it :) Support Nikolas Krankl fellow coffee geek!
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bsalinas
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Joined: 7 Aug 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Boston, MA
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Posted Wed Apr 21, 2010, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

While we're digging up really old posts, I figure I'd mention Pavement Coffee House which opened this past Monday in Boston (Mass Ave and Boylston).  It is run by the folks at ERC.  The shop, which is beautifully designed, includes a rotating guest espresso(s?), and a rotating pourover (Hario V60s) bar with roasters including Barismo, Counter Culture, Atomic Cafe and others.  They are very serious about their coffee.  If you're in the area, check it out.
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wfallon
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Joined: 18 Jan 2009
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Location: Providence, RI
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Posted Mon May 17, 2010, 7:45am
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

I was making a return trip from outside Boston back down to Providence this morning, but knew I was going to have about an hour and a half to get from North to South Station (normally a 10-15 minute T ride). So, luckily, the commuter rail I was on had wifi so I could try to find somewhere to make an excursion for about an hour or so when I found this thread and Simon's. I decided I would just take the red line out into Cambridge to give them a try:

Beautiful shop! Very nice atmosphere, and I wish I'd had more time to linger and enjoy it. The staff was extremely friendly, and Simon himself was there pulling shots and making drinks. Very talented, and truly a professional. They were pulling (as Simon told me was fairly standard) their house espresso blend as well as a special that seemed to change frequently. I began with an espresso and a cappuccino (5-6 oz, it isn't listed directly on their menu, but I asked the woman taking my order if they had a sort of traditional capp, and they called it a 'gibraltar' or something to that effect), with their house blend. Both were very very delicious. The cappuccino was particularly fantastic, with some of the best textured milk I'd ever tasted. The grinder hoppers listed the blend with the percentage breakdowns of each coffee it contained as well, an awesome touch (also had a nice looking Robur :) ).

I then tried their other offering in an espresso and a cappuccino, which was 70% Sidamo and 30% Koke, which was amazing. I'd never had a 'single origin' 'blend', and it was quite awesome - it had a really nice, sweet fruitiness, but maintained a really great cocoa-ey balance throughout - I suspect it may be the blend of the two Yirgacheffes (which Simon explained to me, they were both from Yirgacheffe, which I hadn't realized) that make it stand out to me so well.

Their prices were really really reasonable, and I came out of their spending much less than I did at Intelligentsia a couple months ago :) about 11 dollars for the 4 drinks, which were absolutely perfect. I did slightly regret the super caffeine shock about 30 minutes later (I got a bit caught up in the moment, lol), but would do it again in a heartbeat! I can't wait until the next excuse I have to get back to Simon's again, and highly highly recommend it. I really loved that Simon himself was there pulling shots in his store - awesome attention to detail.
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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 May 17, 2010, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

not to go off-topic, but you mentioned you were headed "back" to providence ... anything down there?

i moved to providence a few years ago, and have not found anything. the coffee exchange has great beans that they roast right in the store all day every day ... but the actual brewed coffee and espresso are nothing to write home about, which is too bad. the edge over in wayland square serves intelligentsia black cat, but i get the sense that the beans aren't all that fresh (weeks rather than hours or days old), and the espresso is somewhat hit or miss.

anything else? coffee exchange & edge, are you guys listening?
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wfallon
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 212
Location: Providence, RI
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vibiemme DoubleDomo Manual...
Grinder: Baratza Vario!
Vac Pot: Yama (broken..)
Drip: CCD
Roaster: Popcorn poppers!
Posted Tue May 18, 2010, 1:50pm
Subject: Re: Boston/Cambridge
 

Hey!

I'm a student at Brown, so I'm fairly familiar with the area. I've been pretty disappointed myself with the coffee scene around here as well, but there are a few bright spots. As you mentioned, Coffee Exchange is great for beans being fresh and all, but I'm not in love with their espresso blend, and you're right about their prepared beverages being good but not amazing. I recently got a chance to walk down to the edge (15 min walk-ish for me), and bought some black cat and one of the SO's they had. The black cat was pretty great in my machine, but I don't know what the roast date was. I saw a package by the register that was roasted  6 or 7 days before, so I specifically asked him for a half pound of the freshest he had. The SO, though, I was getting all gushers with and had almost no success with, which I think was the product of very stale beans. So, yeah.. disappointment at the lack of attention to quality there. My friend who went with me got an espresso that totally filled the demitasse, which seemed way to lungo for my taste. I got a free cup with the beans, and it was ok. I HATE the medium roast/ bold roast/ light roast designation of coffee choices, and they do that, which was another strike against them in my book.

Blue State coffee is right on Thayer Street (twice, there's one in the Brown bookstore, also on Thayer), which can be quite excellent. They have free coffee cupping/tastings on Fridays at noon, which I started going to about a month ago for a few times, and I really gained a lot of respect for the place after that. I met one of their baristas and had seen him at a few of these Friday events and he was so so knowledgeable and passionate about the coffee. He told me all about their espresso blend, and demonstrated a direct trade coffee their roaster has in an espresso and in a pourover which was awesome. I've found their baristas to be hit or miss though - theres a few of them that are awesome, but theres also a good number that are college kids or people who don't seem to have the same passion or as high a level of training. I usually don't buy their coffee either, because it doesn't come with a roast date which annoys me. The barista who I've talked to several times and during the tastings talked about his experience at the new england barista comp a couple months back, which was interesting too. Overall, it's worth a try (especially the tastings/cuppings on Fridays!), but know that it can similarly be hit or miss.

Bill
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