Cafes and coffee roasters in/around Boston?

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.

#1: Post by affogato_toast »

Hi all: I am a Somerville resident and wanted to see if anyone here has recommendations for local roasters and/or cafes in the Greater Boston area. The ones I have the most experience with are: Nine Bar Espresso in Somerville (cafe only), Broadsheet Coffee (cafe + roaster) and Barismo (cafe + roaster) in Cambridge, and Gracenote (cafe + roaster) in Boston proper. I have been to George Howell once or twice for beans, but only have a passing familiarity with it.

Are there any other good ones worth checking out? I typically pick up beans from Broadsheet or Gracenote for home brewing (espresso and pourover), and I've been really impressed with both. Broadsheet even offered local delivery early in the pandemic, which was great when the city was pretty locked down.

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#2: Post by Peppersass »

We visited the George Howell "cafe" at the Boston Public Market weekend before last. I put cafe in quotes because it's really more like a booth in a food court. But don't be fooled -- the espresso is first rate.

I had a Daterra SO double and a cappa made with their daily espresso blend. Though served in paper cups and consumed outdoors (required during the pandemic), they were quite tasty, significantly better than most of the high-end cafe drinks I've had.

I wasn't surprised by the quality of the beans/roasts -- I've bought lots of beans from GHH over the years -- but the overall quality was a nice surprise. You never know whether the barista behind the PF knows how to pull shots. This one did.
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#3: Post by MNate »

I know Food & Wine's best in every state list isn't always good, but they often mention the places I've recommended. Besides Gracenote and GH they mention Little Wolf in Ipswich. If you find yourself hitting the North Shore this summer, Crane's Beach or looking for Fried Clams, you might want to check it out. I haven't been, but I lived in Essex for 3 years and it's a nice area so that part would be enjoyable even if the coffee isn't the best the world. But I'd be hopeful, actually!

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#4: Post by Brewzologist »

Looking forward to when CounterCulture opens back up in Somerville. I wanted to take some trainings there before COVID shut everything down. :evil:


#5: Post by jmotzi »

Peppersass wrote:We visited the George Howell "cafe"
His first business, Coffee Connection in Harvard Square near the COOP, was a favorite haunt of mine in 1974-1975. More French Presses than you could shake a stick at :) FYI - that was back when the Red Line ended at Harvard Square :)

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#6: Post by Coffcarl » replying to jmotzi »

Mine as well. Bought my first real espresso machine (a red Saeco Aroma) from the Coffee Connection warehouse I think in South Boston.

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#7: Post by EddyQ »

Pavement Coffee and Cafe Fixe are not roasters but quality baristas cafes. I know there are a few more good cafes, but I cannot think of them right now.
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#8: Post by coffeechan »

Barrington Coffee Cafes are worth paying a visit to. They're by the waterfront area with a lot of other attractions like contemporary art museum and some shopping around there. Not sure if you can visit their roastery but they do both roasting and cafe.

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#9: Post by affogato_toast (original poster) »

Thank you all for your suggestions! Much appreciated. I actually remember buying Little Wolf beans from the Clover in Harvard Square a couple years back and being impressed with them. I might try ordering some more online. Ditto George Howell.

And interesting that Counter Culture and Barrington both offer training courses. I think I'll look seriously into them, assuming things open up later in the summer.


#10: Post by Nate42 »

Can't recommend George Howell highly enough. Don't know where you are in Boston area but besides a couple locations in the city, he has a cafe in Newton as well. And the roastery is in Acton. Last I went was pre-covid so things have probably changed, but used to be you could pick up online orders direct from the roastery rather than pay shipping, and I was able to get a tour as well.