Tag Archives: Boston

Bean Around the World: A Great Coffee & Bakery Combo

My favorite combo is when a great coffee space is coupled with a great bakery. Even if those two are across the street from each other. Or even next door. I discovered a great combo in Boston that I want you to know about.  The last time I was in Boston, I checked out and reviewed one-off coffee shops. On a recent trip, I decided to enjoy my tried-and-true favorite coffee chain, Peets Coffee. Peets doesn’t have a big presence in Massachusetts, but there is one in Cambridge and two in Boston proper. The Cambridge Peets is in Harvard Square. The interior has plenty of seating and I enjoy the outdoor space in the garden. Any Peets with a relaxing outdoor space scores extra points in my book.

Harvard Square Peets Coffee. Image source: https://harvardsquare.blogspot.com/2011/10/peets-coffee-and-tea.html

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Best of Bean Around The World

Some things we do just go hand-in-hand. Maybe you like to travel and sample different beers around the world. Maybe you travel and ride famous roller coasters or visit Disneyland around the world. For me, travelling and drinking coffee go hand-in-hand. I’m not telling you anything about me you don’t already know, given I write a series called Bean Around The World! I’m a coffee snob who never misses an opportunity to support local roasters, sample local coffee houses, and get to know local baristas and other coffee fanatics wherever I travel.  Since the high summer travel season is upon us, I wanted to bring together all the blog posts I’ve written about coffee so you’ll have easy access to use them when you’re planning a visit to these places. I’ve covered quite a bit of caffeinated ground :)

Newly added in July 2018:

1. If you like a combo of great coffee and wonderful pastry, try this place in Boston.

2. Madrid is a coffee drinkers paradise. See for yourself.

In Europe, the two places I’ve written about so far both hold a special spot in my caffeinated heart. Both Lisbon and Slovenia are places I fell in love with after my first sip. When you visit these places, do not forget to enjoy the very unique coffee scenes. Read about the Lisbon coffee scene here. Slovenia’s local coffee scene required two articles!

Cokl Flat White

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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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