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Best Coffee in Boston

I visited Boston a couple years ago, and I was looking forward to a latte tour. I'm on an international music band board and I asked the Bostonians where the best coffee/lattes were made. They consistently wrote Dunkin' Donuts. My enthusiasm deflated. When I visited I had incredible food (yippee!!). However, where are the best coffee/lattes/cappaccinos?

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  1. For great espresso (and espresso drinks) go to Caffe Vittoria on Hanover Street

    1 Reply
    1. re: joebelt

      Yeah, it is tough to beat the espresso or cappuccino at Vittoria's.

      I can't drink much coffee these days (darn migraines!), but some of the best I've tried in the area have been at Martin's in Brookline Village and Mul's Diner in Southie.

    2. The best espresso I've had was at Simon's in Cambridge between Porter and Harvard Sqs. I found their drip coffee to be pretty gross, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: maillard

        I have only had espresso at SImon's, but I agree that it is excellent. I also really like their lattes - nice steamed milk and espresso/milk ratio.

      2. next time don't ask those people about anything dunkin dognuts yuk...
        they don't even have the proper equipment to make them.
        i know i will be punished for this but
        star bucks is good there are better yes

        1. I may get a lot of flak from others but I like Peet's in Harvard Sq. Toscanini's in the square used make some mean espresso and latte's too but alas they closed (see other threads on that debacle)...

          8 Replies
            1. re: chuck s

              Thanks Chuck...wasn't aware of it.

              1. re: Sal Monella

                The Central Square one, though. The Harvard Square Tosci's remains closed and will not reopen.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  Thanks for clearing this up, BFP. I mistook it to mean the Harvard Sq. one.

            2. re: Sal Monella

              Hi Sal -- no flak, but I just can never figure out why Peets in California is so good, and Peets here is so... meh. I'm a dark roast black brewed coffee girl, sliding to black americanos when I feel flush -- I'm not a latte or cap drinker. I have yet to have a good black cuppa at the HSq Peets. I can't figure it out. They have the skills, they have the beans, they have the machinery, but it's always overly bitter. The best I can deduce is that they brew it overly strong because most folks take milk or cream. I like their beans, I just can't get a decent joe at the store.

              As for americanos, I find Espresso Royale near the symphony does a consistently good job (even on the decaf espresso, which tastes like crap most places). I find their brewed coffee incredibly inconsistent, but I do quite like their americanos.

              As for surprisingly good dark roast brew in a diner setting, Sound Bites has a great beans supplier that's based in Northern Mass (I think). Always freshly roasted, never overly acidic, and you can buy the beans at Sound Bites too.

              Sadly, the most readily available consistently brewed dark roast (for drinking black) that I've found is the French Roast at Au Bon Pain, of all places (I know, color me surprised too). I'd take a black cuppa that over Starbucks any day. It pains me to say it, but in my daily commuting sphere, these are the best options.

              As to the other joints ref'd in this thread: the drip intelligensia at bloc 11 is very good, I can't abide 1369's drip coffee, and I haven't loved any of the terroir I've tried, but I admit to trying very little of it. I can say that Temptations Cafe, though a lovely place for sandwiches and salads, clearly doesn't know how to brew terroir, since it's always heinous there.

              I can only add this: black Dunkin Donuts coffee is what I imagine sinners are forced to drink in hell. If they've been especially especially bad.

              1. re: litchick

                I'm glad to hear someone else ask this about peets-- I really like them out west, but find myself consistently let down (or worse) by the ones I try here (mostly harvard sq & coolidge corner). And yeah, it's definitely the bitterness here that puzzles me (in fact, I've wondered whether it's something they do intentionally to gear to different markets?) It used to be really hard to find good coffee in LA, and Peets was a refreshing addition to the scene. But in Boston, I'm honestly not even sure which I'd choose given a choice between stopping in for a cup of SB vs Peets to go :(

                I'm also a fan of intelligentsia in chicago, so I'm glad to know bloc 11 brews it. I keep hoping that since so many Bostoners have formerly lived in upstate NY, that someone might start brewing Gimme Coffee!

                1. re: another_adam

                  I have been to Peet's both in California and here. Maybe there is a drop-off in the Harvard Square and Coolidge Corner outlets but I haven't experienced that in the Downtown shop.

                2. re: litchick

                  The coffee at Sound Bites is awesome!

              2. Flatblack is a small independent coffee shop that specializes in single estate coffees. They also have a very good house blended espresso. It is located at Broad and Milk Streets near Post Office Square. Worth a try for sure.

                3 Replies
                1. re: mgardner

                  Flat Black is excellent. Also has wifi. It's a wholly local, small chain. First store was in Lower Mills. Very nice people.

                  Of the real chains, Peet's by far. There is no contest. They can dark roast without losing the varietal (while Starbucks roasts past varietal).

                  1. re: lergnom

                    Dark roast don't make an authentic European espresso.

                    1. re: joebelt

                      the OP asked about coffee as well as espresso drinks. relax.

                2. My favorite hot and iced filter coffees: the stuff based on George Howell's Terroir line of coffees at True Grounds. I think Howell is really onto something with his sourcing and packing methods: the coffee really does taste fresher, more complex, deeper, requiring less roasting.

                  Espresso: Caffe Italia in Eastie.

                  Vietnamese iced coffee: Xinh Xinh, which uses Cafe du Monde with roast chicory. This adds an almost chocolatey flavor, underscoring the frappe-like effect.

                  Café au lait: Metropolis Cafe, offered during its weekend brunch service.

                  Aside from the odd Vietnamese iced coffee, I don't drink many milk coffees (café au lait, caffè latte, cappuccino) in cafes or restaurants, as I make pretty good stuff at home every morning (currently using Lavazza, a decent, not over-roasted espresso for canned, pre-ground coffee), and don't like to drink them after breakfast. I really should get a burr grinder and Terroir beans, but my kitchen counter space is cruelly limited.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Re: George Howell's coffees - I worked in the Harvard Square Coffee Connection for a couple of years in the mid-80s, and learned to love coffee (and the early rudiments of good teas!) there. While I occasionally enjoy an espresso or cappucino, I prefer filter or French-press brewed coffee most of the time and really regret the dominance of dark roasts nowadays.

                    1. re: Allstonian

                      Howell's on a campaign for a lighter roasting these days, too. He argues that if the coffee is better and arrives fresher, it doesn't need the heavier roasting that Starbucks et. al. use to hide the inferiority and staleness of their beans.

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        HUGE HUGE Coffee Connection fan. Almost gave up caffeine when they cashed in to Starbuck's. One proble I've found with the GH coffee is the incosistency of the finished product. Kids and adults who don't care, unfiltered water, stuff like that. Hmm, if only he got back in the coffee shop biz. That said, Vicky Lee's had a mazing coffee in Needham,

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Agree with everything you said, with one quibble: Howell recognizes that Starbucks sources excellent-quality beans. He just disagrees with their M.O. of overroasting them to the point that they lose the finesse the might have had with a less imposing roasting ritual.

                          1. re: wittlejosh

                            I don't like Starbucks - it tastes burnt to me. I do love Peet's. I had it shipped to me in college long before it was a chain. George Howell tasted me on many varieties of both his lines: Terroir and GH. I wanted to love them. I ws so in love with the concept that I had decided that I would love them. They were going to be the finest coffees I had ever experienced. My sister said that they're all the rage in San Francisco. I tasted them. I didn't like them. I know acidity is a positive quality in coffee, but that's all I got from them. I felt betrayed.

                            1. re: almansa

                              Interesting. I tasted some Terroir, at a Howell's tasting. The rep acknowledged that it's an aquired taste, that many people don't like the acidic beans...
                              An acquired taste!!! I love coffee. I love dark roasts the most. My coffee addiction was weaned on Coffee Connection, but every time I try Terroir, i hate it, and now I know why...

                              Acidic beans have lot of flavor, but it's not necessarily good flavor. I love Peet's, when I can afford it. I love Trader Joe's Bay Blend when I can't. In between, I breeze in to Whole Foods,and get whatever dark roast is most recently roasted. If you can't be picky, you can't beat fresh!

                        2. re: Allstonian

                          You can thank Starbucks and Peet's for the emergence of dark roast as true espresso. It's so silly how they have everyone believing that an espresso has to be made with a dark roast been.

                      2. Great ideas here. My two cents:

                        Best coffee, period: Peet's. I hate to recommend a chain, but the beans are well selected and roasted, the staff is well trained, and their espresso machines are great. Simon's is great too, but the service can be a little slow and disorganized.

                        Best Italian coffee house: Caffe Italia in Eastie. Big men sipping little espressos, speaking Italian with southern New England accents. Dinner here is pretty tasty too.

                        Best hipster coffee house: Diesel/Bloc 11 in Somerville. These sister coffee houses pull some very good espresso, and each place sports a unique vibe. Diesel has a kind of auto garage theme, and Bloc 11 has coolly converted a former bank into a great place to sit.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: finlero

                          I don't drink a lot of coffee but Peet's is my favorite, in the financial district. I wish they would open more of them. The yin to DD's yang.

                        2. Simon's is far and away my favorite coffee shop in the Cambridge area, and the only one I would recommend to a coffee geek. They take their coffee VERY seriously. I order a double-shot ristretto, but their lattes are really really good too. I am in mild agreement with an earlier posting about difficulties with their staff, but in my experience it pays off to chat them up about your interest in coffee. They are most of them big coffee geeks, very knowledgeable, and don't need much encouragement to turn out a beautiful latte complete with latte art.

                          I had only one drink from Pete's, a cappuccino, but it was served unacceptably hot and tasted burnt.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: nwinkler

                            I stopped by Simon's tonight, for the first time and my first ever ristretto. Wow: what a mouth-filling wonderful pull, and the coffee geek behind the counter couldn't have been nicer or talked more about coffee and roasting. The ristretto, though, was made with Terroir - and I agree, it's just not to my taste even though I was passionate about the Coffee Connection. I'm still on the fence about going to George Howell's presentation at the BU seminars in March. I'll learn a lot, but that bright acid top note just doesn't do it for me.
                            Thanks Hounds for the Simon's tip.

                            1. re: pastrytroll

                              I would urge you to go to George Howell's presentation at BU. His seminars are always informative and quite interesting.

                              1. re: edgewater

                                Thanks for the nudge - I'm registered for the presentation and looking forward to learning more about my new passion for roasting coffee.

                          2. 1369, people, for heaven's sake! The 1369 coffee house, in Central Square across from the post office and also Inman Square at (where else?) 1369 Cambridge Street, right at the main crossroads there. www.1369coffeehouse.com/ None of that burnt Starbucks swill.

                            Also well worth a visit is Diesel Cafe in Davis Square, across from Starbucks on Elm Street -- best hangout for coffee in the area. Check out the pool tables, and the photo booth in back. http://www.diesel-cafe.com/

                            And yes, everyone genuflect when the name George Howell comes up, truly a pioneer in GOOD American coffee.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Avid Rita

                              Two examples of trendy coffee shops with horrendous espresso drinks.

                              1. re: joebelt

                                Although I must say I've never much cared for either the espresso or the drip at 1369 (to me, both often sport a kind of woody aftertaste), I have to disagree on Diesel.

                                I had a few bad espresso drinks from Diesel circa 1999-2000, but in the past few years, I've been consistently impressed. Their espresso has an almost floral quality that I really enjoy, and they steam the milk in such a way that it stays thick, sweet, and not too foamy.

                                1. re: finlero

                                  Yum. Good description. I agree, although will have to pay closer attention to detect the almost-floralness.

                                  When it comes to jobelt's tastebuds and mine, down is up; right is left; east is west....

                              2. re: Avid Rita

                                i will say that no matter what coffee house i have been to the coffee has to be AT LEAST a medium roast
                                i find that the light roasts are (almost like ) for lack of a better term watered down coffee like you would give a kid when you first start them out into coffee

                              3. I thought I wasn't much of a coffee fan until I had some espresso drinks at Joe in NYC, and then 9th Street Espresso. Utterly smooth, no bitterness, but full of flavor. I have yet to have anything equivalent in Boston. Are there any places here that take the craft of coffee that seriously?

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: joebelt

                                    I am a huge fan of Vittoria too. Love their cappucino and lattes - cappucinos there are like dessert, though. It's a great place to people watch too.

                                1. I recently ordered a Doppio at the Second Cup Cafe on Brighton Ave. in Allston and was blown away by its smoothness and taste.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: mmocpi

                                    i totally sympathize with the OP: that's the same sort of response i got when i moved to boston, and i was pretty bummed about it for awhile.

                                    simon's, velouria, petsi's pies and a few other places brew terroir. these coffees tend, in my experience, to be brighter and more floral. diesel brews intelligentsia, which tends to be heavier, chocolatier and (if done right) w/berry undertones. i like them both, and am willing to pay the premium they command.

                                    velouria has one of those fancy clover machines, for precise brewing of several different terroir varieties. seating is limited. seating is less limited at simon's but it is competitive.

                                    the darwin's in cambridge are actually not bad, too, for espresso based drinks; i prefer the one on mt auburn, but you have to fight w/hipster grad students for seats.

                                    ula cafe has one or two baristas who can serve up a great latte, but most of them are not so great at that, and i also don't much care for their drip coffee. but their baked goods are great, and it's still prob. my favorite boston cafe, even despite there only being one or 2 places you can plug in your 'puter. but it's not a coffee-phile's destination.

                                    i think 1369 is forgettable and crowded.

                                    i agree that peet's is still your most reliable bet for strong (not bitter) and flavorful cup of drip coffee. their espresso is pretty good too.

                                    i'm sure there are other places, but this is what comes to mind at the moment.

                                    1. re: autopi

                                      Which Peet's location are people referring to? Is there a big different between locations? I'm wondering because I've gotten drip coffee at the Newton Center location a few times and it was pretty horrible. Completely burnt tasting... I actually threw it out. They keep their coffee on burners, which I think always wrecks it, no matter how tasty it might've been when it was first brewed.

                                      1. re: maillard

                                        I've had the best luck with the drip coffee at the downtown and Harvard Square locations, and the worst luck in Newton and Wellesley. Lexington is somewhere in the middle.

                                        That said, as much as I enjoy dark roast coffee, there are times that Peet's is just too damn big, even when it's brewed well. For me, it's the coffee analog of a well-crafted zinfandel wine. Do I enjoy a big, intense zin? Sometimes, sure, but there are times when the taste just overpowers me. And a bad zin/dark coffee...blech.

                                        Peet's espresso drinks, on the other hand, are just wonderful, my all-around favorite in Boston, again especially from downtown and Harvard Square.

                                        1. re: finlero

                                          Funny, the Financial District Peet's is my least favorite for espresso drinks. It seems to me that the women who makes them in the morning does so in the same production line fashion that they do at Starbucks, as opposed to making them one at a time, like I'm used to at Peet's and that consistently results in a better product.

                                          1. re: Blumie

                                            Interesting, I may be a bad data point, as I actually always wait until at least 10:30 to go on a cappuccino run (I know, very anti-Italian), precisely to avoid the assembly line.

                                            In a pinch (Peet's is a bit of a schlep from my office), I also have much better luck at Starbucks using the same tactic. There's a woman named Julie who works at the stand at 1 Federal who puts a lot of care into her caps, when time permits.

                                        2. re: maillard

                                          I have been to all six locations in the Boston area. My favorite is the Financial District because I think that it has better consistency and quality control. It is smaller than the others and keeps shorter hours. The Lexington one is my second choice.

                                          1. re: laulauman

                                            Thanks, maybe I'll try the coffee at the Harvard Sq. location this weekend.

                                            1. re: maillard

                                              i was referring to the harvard sq. location.

                                    2. Red Barn in Fanueil Hall and the Longwood Galleria. Not a real hang out type of cafe tho.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Joanie

                                        They make a good cup of coffee, though. I like Red Barn's coffee better than Peet's. Better flavor, and a nice variety of roasts.

                                        Red Barn does their roasting locally out in Upton.

                                      2. I've been driving from Dorchester to Huron Village (Cambridge) lately, on any pretense, to drink coffee at High Rise. If I have less time, but still a craving for coffee made by anyone other than me, I go to the Buttery (South End). In JP, City Feed & Supply brews Equal Exchange, and they do a great job of it - they're now part of my coffee loop. I know no coffee terms, but these places manage to consistently produce a rich, smooth brew.

                                        1. Not to be a party pooper, but the real answer is that Boston really does not have GREAT everyday coffee places. I like Red Barn, but it's inconsistent. I have come away with latte-style caps, i.e., not properly foamed milk, although typically that's only from the weekend folks. Weekdays - generally excellent.

                                          Don't even get me started on Starbuck's "dry" caps - I have completely given up on the idea that their barristas might grow to learn that steaming the milk to a certain temp. does not equate to proper preparation. If I am ever there, I just throw in the towel and order a latte. DD actually has good tasting coffee beans when making at home properly, but they brew it way way too light in store, so it just gross.

                                          North End spots do good coffee, but you gotta go to the North End. (Anyone remember Captain Jack's, the short lived coffee and breakfast joint in the North End? I thought they made the best coffee in Boston, hands, feet, paws and flippers down. I was so bummed when they closed up. This was circa 2001.)

                                          Have not been to Cafe Pamplona since the change in ownership, but for setting, that can be a fun cup of joe/cap. (Although much better suited for warm weather with the patio seating).

                                          Diesel is good, too.

                                          But I had a capp recently at Donna's in Baltimore and it made my hair stand up (in a good way). Boston just does not compare.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                            Nice shout out to Donna's---I used to live in Baltimore and loved it. In Boston, for espresso and cappuccino, I like Caffe Vittoria, Diesel and Bloc 11 (which also makes really excellent drip coffee), and Peet's downtown. The only thing that bothers me about Peet's is that it seems to be supercaffeinated coffee, and tends to give me a headache more than others do. It could be just that it's much fresher (more recently roasted) than other beans and hence the caffeine has not degraded---or am I making that up?

                                            1369 gets the nod for excellent iced coffee---using the cold brew method.

                                            1. re: bella_sarda

                                              Donna's and the Daily Grind have spread throughout the city. I was always a Daily Grind-er, but Donna's rocks too. :)

                                              1. re: bella_sarda

                                                i also think the coffee at peet's is stronger (in terms of caffeine content) than others. that's just based on my experience. i have a very high tolerance for caffeine (partly thanks to peets), so it doesn't bother me. but yeah, that's my experience.

                                                as for cafe pamplona--it is a lovely setting, but the coffee is very very bad.

                                                does anyone know if bloc 11 serves intelligentsia?

                                                1. re: autopi

                                                  Pamplona = two veries bad? Just wondering - Is that since the change of ownership? Previously, I always considered them to have perfectly decent coffee. I reserve VV to DD. ;)

                                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                    we're talking about the little place down a flight of stairs in harvard square, right?

                                                    well maybe you're right. maybe it's only a one "very." i remember the standard drip being really watery. i probably got at least one espresso there, but i don't remember in particular. there are other things about that place that get my goat, too.

                                                    1. re: autopi

                                                      That's the place.
                                                      What are the other things that get your goat? :)

                                                  2. re: autopi

                                                    Yes, Bloc 11 serves Intelligentsia coffee. I've been really impressed with both their espresso and brewed coffee drinks. I prefer their brewed coffee black because the flavor is so good, not bitter or overroasted.

                                                    1. re: bella_sarda

                                                      ah, good to hear. too bad both bloc 11 and diesel are such a pain for me to get to, but still having another place to pick up intelligentsia is a good thing.

                                                      as for pamplona, for the drip you only get a small little cup, it's table service meaning that w/a tip involved it starts to get a bit pricey if you just want a cup of coffee, the space is small and resonant so you can't have a conversation without everyone in the room being part of it (and, conversely, you can't concentrate on anything when others are chatting), and the general space just seems like it has so much more potential than it currently exhibits. i think that's about it.

                                                      1. re: autopi

                                                        Heh - that sounds about right for the inside. Save for one time, I always go to sit out on the patio and enjoy espresso.

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          yeah, in nice weather the patio is lovely.

                                                2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                  (Anyone remember Captain Jack's, the short lived coffee and breakfast joint in the North End? I thought they made the best coffee in Boston, hands, feet, paws and flippers down. I was so bummed when they closed up. This was circa 2001.)>>

                                                  Yes, I do remember Captain Jack's and agree with you, hands, flippers and all. I lived a couple blocks away- the coffee scent coming out of that place was incredible. They roasted their own beans. The hot coffee they sold was out of this world, and the stuff I made at home with my Mister Coffee was still terrific.

                                                  I don't drink a lot of coffee these days, but I work about a block away from L'Aroma on Newbury Street. When they need a good fix, a lot of folks in my office go there, instead of the Starbucks directly across the street.

                                                  1. re: pasuga

                                                    YES! Captain Jack's was fantastic. I went there as often as I could, but the lack of any additional customer during any of my visits was foreboding, sadly. It was great how they were always roasting beans in there and it always smelled wonderful. They also had the best iced coffee.

                                                3. I agree with the Diesel recs, although I don't know if the OP will be near Somerville or wants to stick with Boston proper. I love their deep, smooth lattes and mocha lattes. (I preferred those at the Someday, but at least I don't have to go far for a close second.) It's also a comfortable place to hang. I'm hoping to check out Bloc 11 tomorrow. Thanks, hounds; I wouldn't have known about it without you.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: pollystyrene

                                                    for Boston proper, Uptown Espresso (on Columbus, just on the city side of Mass Ave) has quite good coffee as well as good food bites and a really nice glass-enclosed seating area towards the back. Free wifi if you're into that kind of thing, good art on the walls, etc.

                                                  2. Vittoria in the North End.

                                                    1. i have had the coffee at 1369 in camb didn't like it
                                                      i had peets coffee in brookline a while back
                                                      don't know if it is still there they were next to star bucks (well one store front separated the two) did not like it i had a strange taste (almost how a soured dish rag smells)
                                                      but that was that location and it was a while back so i don't think it fair to blow them off
                                                      i will try them again

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: foodperv

                                                        i know what you are referring to, but i would recommend checking them out again. i've never had that experience at a peet's, incl. that brookline location. hopefully a one-time bad experience?

                                                        1. re: autopi

                                                          I have to go with diesel cafe in davis as well, the cafe au lait is amazing!

                                                          If you are ever i the somerville area, True grounds on broadway is also really nice.

                                                          Has anyone been to the place in Jamaica Plain that has the clover machine? I have heard that the espresso from one of those is unrivaled, but I have never had one myself.

                                                          1. re: chriskantos

                                                            yes. but as far as i know, the clover machine only does regular coffee, not espresso. the cafe, velouria, does do espresso based drinks as well. it's a great spot if you want to sample a bunch of the different terroir beans b/c they can brew you up a cup of each on the spot.

                                                            1. re: autopi

                                                              A friend and I went to Velouria just to try the Clover machine. We did the sampler, which gave us 5 small cups of 5 different brews for about 9 dollars (designed for 2 people). As we finished each one, we went to the counter and got our next cup. We drank the coffee black with no sugar and it was an interesting experience. The coffee alone was great and much smoother and less bitter than others I've had. I usually drink my coffee with milk and sugar so this was new territory for me. We tried adding milk and sugar to test it out and the coffee lost something. It tasted sort of ordinary and really tasted better without the additions. We went on a Saturday afternoon and sat for a few hours. The owner (?) recommended La Pupusa Guanaca across the street when we asked for lunch ideas. Great stuff, but that's for another thread!

                                                              1. re: corduroy

                                                                Interthreaduality alert:
                                                                Boston Starbucks (select locations) now have Clovers:


                                                                1. re: corduroy

                                                                  thanks for the report! i've been wondering about that sampler, as in how much coffee you'd end up drinking if you drank all 5!

                                                                  it'd be nice to try out the clover with some of the heavier bodied, fuller coffees than the terroir, a la peet's or some of the intelligentsia blends.

                                                                  1. re: autopi

                                                                    The cups were small, maybe a bit bigger than the cups you'd serve espresso in (2-3 ounce cup size?). Overall, we drank probably the equivalent of a large coffee, maybe a bit more. I've been on decaf for a while, so I really felt the caffeine. It was worth it though.

                                                                    1. re: autopi

                                                                      The sampler is 8, 4oz, coffees.So, it is 20 ounces of coffee for each person.

                                                                      1. re: justinmcx

                                                                        your math is off. if it's 8 4oz. samples it is at total of 32oz, or 16oz per person.

                                                          2. the absolute ONLY time coffee bugs the crap out of my stomach is when it is either cheap coffee(and i don't mean how much you paid for it) or if it is a light roast
                                                            i tried peets from the market basket it was the italian roast. 99% of you know what italian roast is but for the 1% who may not it is darker than the french roast. that said, my stomach just started to do the little got to hurl dance although it did settle down after 20 min this time

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: foodperv

                                                              Your GI system is of course entitled to its opinion, but to clarify:

                                                              Is your stomach telling us that Peet's is in fact (a) a light roast, (b) cheap coffee, or (c) none of the above, but rather a new and exciting form of coffee that also displeases it?

                                                              1. re: finlero

                                                                finlero lol good choices well it is an italian roast (dark) so it must be b or c i am leaning toward c but i will get back to you after another pot or two

                                                                1. re: finlero

                                                                  well finlero after finnishing the whole bag i find it is b and c
                                                                  i can't get more than 3 cups down at one sitting

                                                              2. This is all about drip cups (not a latte or capp drinker) -- I haven't seen them mentioned, so I will highlight cups I'll make a detour or special stop for:

                                                                The brewed Illy or Terroir (usually Costa Rica) at the Iggy's Bakery shop at Fresh Pond -- really my favorite -- they know how to brew and keep it fresh.

                                                                Another reliable spot is Quebrada in Arllington -- especially the Dancing Goats (I miss Someday Cafe in Davis...).

                                                                Also echo the praise for Diesel (Intelligensia, no?) and Flatblack downtown (must try Red Barn now as well). That said, still looking for a local source of amazing, fresh-roasted beans that includes a lot of South Pacific varietal options (Indonesian, New Guinea, etc.) -- Allegro at WF is not it, Terroir doesn't offer much South Pacific choice, and the beans we've had from Flat Black don't seem as fresh as they should be given their localness.

                                                                The drip Peet's serves is also fine for me downtown and in Lexington (and they are always so friendly in both locations!), but there is inconsistency in the Harvard Square drip quality as well as the friendliness.

                                                                For bean consistency, Peet's is the one for me -- we keep whole bean Major Dickason in the house at all times for French press and it's as good or better than any cup we buy out.

                                                                FWIW, we also mail order other beans for home - tops for freshness and flavor is microroaster Blue Bottle (Bella Donovan blend - wow!) from the Bay Area (though the website service is flakey) and a recent infatuation is with Ravens Blend shipped from WA/AK - discovered it at Formaggio Kitchen over the holidays (where they also generally have a nice drip cup available, by the way). It's generally a much lighter roast but very flavorful and fresh.

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: rlh

                                                                  Yes, Diesel is intelligentsia.

                                                                  1. re: okello

                                                                    I don't live nearby anymore, but I used to think Espresso Royale on Newbury Street was pretty good.
                                                                    Speaking of Starbucks, what stuns me is how I've had to shift how I order a latte over time. The lattes used to be a nice light milk chocolate color and you could actually TASTE the espresso. Now I've learned I can't order just a tall latte from them, because it's nearly white and I barely taste any espresso. So now I order a short double shot latte, to get what I used to get from them years ago. What gives with that??? It's irritating and I'm paying more. (No jokes about how addicts always need more stuff to get their high . . . I only go to Starbucks every two or three weeks.)

                                                                    1. re: Lucymax

                                                                      i tried the diesel cafe for the first time
                                                                      ordered an americano
                                                                      very weak rather watered down coffee

                                                                      1. re: foodperv

                                                                        You are aware that an americano is a watered down espresso, right?

                                                                        1. re: sailormouth

                                                                          Ah, but it doesn't have to *taste* watery...

                                                                          1. re: litchick

                                                                            i have been drinking americano long time now and
                                                                            starbuck makes it good
                                                                            3 shots espresso in a large
                                                                            they make 4 shots at a time and throw out the 4th but i got to know a couple of people ant varios starbucks and the would through in the extra one
                                                                            but anyway the diesel only used 2 shots

                                                                            1. re: foodperv

                                                                              OK, I didn't mean to be bitchy, but I wanted to throw that out there just in case. You never know. .

                                                                2. Coffee Connection was the best. Peet's is probably the best available now.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sultanp

                                                                    The owner of the Coffee Connection, George Howell, now owns a coffee roasting operation. His coffees are available at Velouria Espresso, among other places.

                                                                    1. re: justinmcx

                                                                      Excited to try the reputed Terroir coffee I bought some drip from Simon's, on my first visit. It tasted weak and acidic. I can't see myself going there again.

                                                                      I wasn't prepared to give up on the coffee itself, however, and ordered from the Terroir on-line shop. So far it seems good, but really not worth almost twice the price of a conventional "gourmet" bean, e.g. supermarket packs of Peet's or Starbucks. (And that's excluding shipping.)

                                                                      1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                        I find Simon's drip coffee to be completely gross and their espresso to be the best I've had in Boston by far (though I've only tried each once). So if you drink espresso you may want to give them a chance on that. :)

                                                                        1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                          Terroir coffee is very interesting, but it's generally a much lighter roast than even the lighter Starbucks varities and much more acidic. I can't drink milk with Terroir coffees because it overwhelms them.

                                                                    2. I love the coffee at the Berkeley Perk. It's a small cafe and just so good! I agree w/ Caffe Vittoria for cappuccino. Yum! I also agree that Dunkin's coffee is better brewed at home. They do it too weak in the stores. I like certain coffees at Starbucks, but I like them more for lattes or things of that nature. I make good coffee at home, so when all else fails, I'll make my own!

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: BackBayGirl

                                                                        I'm with you... the coffee at the Berkeley Perk rocks! They carry Equator Coffee, which is some of the best coffee I have ever tasted. Plus, the coffee is relatively inexpensive, the atmosphere cozy, and the staff very friendly. I love that place.