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Local coffee roasters?

  • p

My friends and I have started swapping coffee beans. He just bought an Aeropress ( http://www.aerobie.com/Products/aerop... ) and is very interested which piqued our interests as we just get whatever African beans we can find at the Harvest Coop. We want to find very local beans, roasted here in Mass or maybe even New England so long as we can find a local distributor (no buying online

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When I was in my teens, I worked at a coffee shop where we roasted our own beans. This was in the suburbs of Boston (Metrowest). That's what I'm looking for. I know given this being a city it's hard to roast one's own beans. I'm looking for either Boston/Cambridge based coffee shops that either roast their own beans or get their beans from locally-roasted places.

I don't have a car so I have to rely on the T. I will go to Newton, Brookline, etc. But I have to be able to get there from Cambridge without a car and again, no online.

Cambridge shops will get a huge thumbs up and I'll shower you with whatever baked good you want.

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  1. barismo, in arlington. easy bus ride from cambridge. or just pick them up from simon's on mass ave, b/w harvard and porter.

    2 Replies
    1. re: autopi

      Excellent, thank you. I looked them up and saw they distribute to High Rise. Since that's in the way up to Porter for me, I'll head there today. If they don't have the beans I'll head up to Simon's.

      1. re: pluot

        I'd highy recommend a visit to Barismo, at least once. The people there are utterly devoted to their beans and craft and are more than willing to share their knowledge and passion with you. The last time I was there I was given a side-by-side comparison tasting of the same bean brewed by different methods. It opened my eyes about brewing. The number 77 Mass Ave. bus will let you off very close by.

    2. We are currently drinking the Black Fish Creek blend from Beanstock Coffee Roasters from Wellfleet on Cape Cod. Oddly enough we wrote about it because on our vacations in Provincetown we enjoyed the beans so much with our AeroPress that we decided to try them at home with our Espresso machine.

      We're happy with the result and thrilled with the freshness, speed of delivery and ease of ordering from their site. I haven't found anyone who carries these locally but I also haven't looked.

      Here's a link to our initial write up on it.

      http://www.bostonzest.com/2009/09/bea...

      Penny
      http://www.bostonzest.com/

      1. Barismo, as suggested by others, is excellent. I'd also suggest Intelligensia coffees (available at Diesel in Davis Sq and Bloc 11 in Union) and whatever they roast at True Grounds. I love my Aeropress!

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        True Grounds
        715 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

        Bloc 11 Cafe
        11 Bow St, Somerville, MA 02143

        1 Reply
        1. re: Boston_Otter

          i didn't know true grounds roasted anything; my impression was that they served terroir.

          1. re: SuperFineSugar

            Yes, Terroir is roasted nearby in Acton and is excellent. Find it at True Grounds in Somerville, Simon's or Crema in Cambridge.

            Barismo is my personal favorite at the moment, with Terroir a strong second.

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            True Grounds
            715 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

            Crema Cafe
            27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            1. re: SuperFineSugar

              Terroir coffees are also sold at WF and at Clear Flour Bread in Brookline.

            2. This is all so helpful! Thank you so much. When I head up Barisimo, I may as well stop at Diesel, too.

              Considering Terroir and Black Fish Creek are local, maybe we'll order it online, unless I can buy Terroir's beans from Crema? Honestly, I've never paid attention to what Crema sells because I just grab and go there as I'm always in a hurry in the morning. Considering your raves, it may be too hard to pass up. Or maybe we could make a (long) day of it in a Zip Car.

              BostonOtter, do you recommend buying the AeroPress? We usually use our french press on weekends, a basic auto-drip on weekdays and our stovetop espresso maker when needed.

              11 Replies
              1. re: pluot

                You can buy Terroir beans at quite a few local shops, as noted above: Crema Cafe, Clear Flour Bread, Simon's, True Grounds, and even whole Foods.

                If you are willing to order online as long as the roaster is local, there's also Armeno Coffee Roasters in Northborough, MA.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  Perfect-- I'll hit up Crema for beans tomorrow. Thank you.

                  1. re: Allstonian

                    Allstonian, what is your sense of Armeno's these days? About nine years ago they were my go-to coffee roasters. However some years back the ownership changed. The new owners branched out into things like cigars; at the same time their coffee selection got smaller and less adventuresome. It got me wondering about their level of interest in coffee. (Barismo is an excellent example of a bunch of people whose passion for coffee leaves no time for any other product.)

                    1. re: PinchOfSalt

                      Your experience exactly mirrors ours: Allstonian and I actually stopped our regular monthly shipments from Armeno's because the quality had dwindled to not really much better than getting a pound of Green Mountain from Shaw's.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        It actually saddens me to hear that from you. In the day, Armeno's was very good. Nothing is forever, alas.

                        1. re: PinchOfSalt

                          To be fair, Barmy exaggerates Armeno's drop-off in quality a bit (though not totally - they definitely aren't what they used to be.) I mainly stopped ordering from Armeno because Terroir started up. As a loyal Coffee Connection customer (and ex-employee!) I felt that Terroir beans were better and I could purchase them locally and save the cost of shipping.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            And also to be fair, I *like* Green Mountain, as long as it's fresh!

                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              I really like Armeno's, and we've been customers for at about 6 years. I think they have increased the number of available coffees recently ...they carry a Maui grown coffee that I don't remember seeing in the past that was excellent. I love Terroir as well, but its quite a bit more expensive (and for me, Armeno is much easier to get to). Terroir mail order is great. But the stuff at Whole Foods isn't nearly as fresh.

                              I think they have stopped or eased back on the wine and cigar stuff. There is less in the shop then there used to be.

                            2. re: Allstonian

                              Ah, how I miss Coffee Connection!

                    2. re: pluot

                      I am not BostonOtter, but I recommend buying the AeroPress as it makes a fantastic cup of coffee for short money and checking out Barismo's selection of 'analog' coffee-making devices from Japan--unique and cost effective, the cold-brew pitcher is the best thing ever for summer. While you are there you must also take the time to enjoy a cup of siphon-brewed coffee-incredible, with the complexity of a great wine.

                    3. JP Licks roasts their own coffee in the Jamaica Plain store, and offers probably about a dozen different varieties of beans. I dismissed it for awhile thinking that they were just an ice cream place, but the coffee is excellent and so fresh. I jumped around different varieties for a while, found some a bit too sweet or a bit too acidic before settling on the Guatemalan Trapichitos--amazing.

                      1. Despite the fact that you want a local coffee roaster, I have to put in a recommendation for D'Amico Foods in Brooklyn, NY. I've been ordering from them for at least 8 or 9 years and their products have been consistently excellent. The coffee has always arrived behind my door the day after I order it even though I select the 2nd most expensive delivery option. I always make sure I order Monday through Thursday to avoid possible lag in delivery since they ship by UPS. The prices even with the cost of delivery are definitely excellent and competitive with buying locally (1 charge for shipping for the 3 lbs. I usually order). Check out their website: damicofoods.com

                        1. I am fan of Terroir and Barismo locally, though I wish Terroir was cheaper (prices for 12 oz are higher than per lb at most other places! - before shipping - and be careful of the clearly-marked roast date on the beans sold at Crema - doesn 't appear there is a lot of turnover - and the dates vary WIDELY)

                          I wish Barismo would roast some Pacific-sourced beans instead of mostly Latin American and African - and that they would be warmer and friendlier in the shop, especially after repeated visits.

                          If you are considering online ordering, Counter Culture (NC -based) is really great and has flat rate $3 shipping on every order for the holidays - very serious about their beans and roasting.

                          I also love Mocha Joe's in Brattleboro, VT, but their prices and shipping have crept up enough that I only get it once in a while (their Costa Rica La Minita is the best I've had anywhere).

                          -----
                          Crema Cafe
                          27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rlh

                            I'd note that I have found Terroir prices to vary TREMENDOUSLY from retailer to retailer. If I recall correctly, ranging from 12.95 to 16.95 for the same 12 oz coffee. Do NOT buy it at Formaggio. It's true that even on the low end this is more per 12 oz than, say, Equal Exchange is per pound. But I find the quality good enough to justify that upcharge, as long as I'm not overpaying by ANOTHER 30% after that.

                            And yes, your note about roasted-on dates is very true too. Always check.

                            1. JoJo5, when we lived in NYC for a few years I know we purchased some beans from D'Amico. Despite the higher density, there are more local roasters in NYC (not to compare negatively, just an observation). I'll see how far we're willing to stretch the "local." Maybe if the trip's duration roundtrip can be done in one day can be considered local (such as under 400 miles rountrip). I'll inquire.

                              I'll inquire about the roasting dates at Crema.

                              Okay, so Formaggio is out of the question for beans if the markup is that high. I know they are perfect for some things and was thinking of looking into their beans. Thanks for saving me the cash.

                              pierce, I remember getting coffee from jp licks (Harvard Sq and Newbury, never been to the JP location) some years ago and finding it really tasty, especially for an ice cream store. I did not know they did their own beans but I also haven't been back in years as well. I'll pop into the Harvard Sq location soon to see if they sell beans or if we have to head out to JP.

                              ebpizza, thanks for the recommendation. I've been looking for an excuse to get a zip car and head up to the area!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pluot

                                Yes, JP Licks sells their own beans at all of their shops. I buy them at the Brigham Circle store for my office coffeemaker. They are pretty decent, but I don't believe they're marked with roast date, which may be an issue for you.

                                Also, I prefer Asian coffees - Celebes has long been my favorite - but JP Licks always seems to be out of Sumatra (except in decaf) and I find myself settling for African (Ethiopian or Kenyan) instead.

                              2. If you ever do find yourself with some wheels, you should try Karma Coffee Roasters out in Sudbury.