Tag Archives: Boston

Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Boston, Massachusetts

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. Recently, I had a fantastic week in Beantown, aka Boston. And while I didn’t eat a single baked bean, I did drink plenty of coffee, so I’ve got lots to share with you. Let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Boston and Cambridge style.

You’ll notice I wrote Boston AND Cambridge, and that’s the first distinction to make. There are two sides to the Charles River and definitely two sides to the coffee scene as well. No worries, though. I covered both sides and have recommendations for you, no matter where you go.

When I travel, I only review and like to support coffee houses that roast their own beans or use locally roasted beans. Unfortunately, many of the coffee houses in Boston use beans from national roasters like Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown. That’s unfortunate because I don’t care for these three roasters, and there are plenty of good local roasters to use. So do make sure to ask at coffee houses whose beans they use. In part 1, I started with the Cambridge side of the river. Now let’s head to the Boston side of the Charles River and drink some coffee!

There are two main players in the Boston coffee scene. Gracenote Coffee Roasters is one of them. Besides having their own shop, other coffee houses use their beans. I’ll get to that in a minute. I spent a long time at Gracenote talking with Aprille, one of the owners. She’s a fun, energetic, woman who is super passionate about coffee, and she was a delight to spend time with.

Tote bag at Gracenote Coffee Roasters

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Shelli’s World Coffee Tour – Coffee Houses in Cambridge, Massachusetts

I guess it’s time for a true confession. I’m a coffee snob. And when I travel, I have a passion for supporting local roasters and coffee houses. Let’s just say I’ve BEAN Around the World and I’m feeling like now is the time to start sharing the love… and caffeine, one city at a time. Recently, I had a fantastic week in Beantown, aka Boston. And while I didn’t eat a single baked bean, I did drink plenty of coffee, so I’ve got lots to share with you. Let’s open the TWG cafe society doors and talk coffee, Boston and Cambridge style.

You’ll notice I wrote Boston AND Cambridge, and that’s the first distinction to make. There are two sides to the Charles River and definitely two sides to the coffee scene as well. No worries, though. I covered both sides and have recommendations for you, no matter where you go.

When I travel, I only review and like to support coffee houses that roast their own beans or use locally roasted beans. Unfortunately, many of the coffee houses in Boston use beans from national roasters like Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, and Stumptown. That’s unfortunate because I don’t care for these three roasters, and there are plenty of good local roasters to use. So do make sure to ask at coffee houses whose beans they use. Let’s start with the Cambridge side of the river because that’s home to one of the key players in the coffee scene.

Barismo was founded back in 2008 by a group of five people. Jaime and Hong, the current owners, are two of the original group. The space I visited in Cambridge was opened in 2012. It’s an all-around perfect spot! I spent quite a long time there and enjoyed talking coffee and business with Jaime. He is warm, welcoming, dedicated, easy to talk with, and very transparent about how he runs the business and his ideas about creating and sustaining a coffee house.

Barismo Coffee. Image: http://www.barismo.com/our-story/

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My Favorite Things to See, Do & Eat in Boston

Have you been to Boston? It may seem like a strange question, but I find that a lot of people haven’t been to one of my favorite cities. I’m not exactly a tourist there, and not exactly a local, either. I’m sort of an in-betweener because I went to college there and lived in Boston after that, so I know the area really well. I’ve been on a kick lately of spending more time in East Coast cities that I love (like my recent trip to NYC: A New Yorker Returning Home for a Few Days). Boston is for sure one of my top five favorite American cities. Here are some of my choices for places to see. There’s a ton of history to explore in the Boston area, but I’m skipping those more obvious sites, and suggesting some that are a bit more off the beaten path. And we’ll get to food in a minute!

The Boston Public Library system was founded in 1848, so the original building is a classic architecturally wonderful structure. It’s on Boylston Street. Between 2013 and 2016, it was renovated and a modern extension was added. It’s awesome! Often times I find library renovations, or even new library buildings, like the one in San Diego, lacking in design, lighting, spaces for working and reading, and a generally welcome feeling. The addition to the Boston Public Library gets two thumbs up from me. Do stop in and see for yourself.

Boston Public Library. Image: http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/landmarks-monuments/boston-public-library-unique-facts-history

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