Did you know that if you are an introvert, suffer from insomnia, have a full time job, and start exercising regularly, by the end of the week, you will likely have no energy or time to write for a blog that makes you no money and that on average has only like three viewers on each post?
It’s true. In fact, it’s been my life for the past month.
That being said, I also traveled this past month, and as a result, I am now obligated to immediately drop all other responsibilities to share with the world my coffee adventures. I don’t make the rules (except for this one), I just follow them (except usually for this one).
So where did I travel to this month? Well, if you couldn’t figure it out by the title of this post, I traveled to the bustling city of Boston. Why? Well, honestly, just because. It had been ages since I last vacationed on the east coast, so I thought, ‘Why not go for it now?’
Anyway, trips are always an opportunity to check out local coffee spots, and this trip was no different. So where did I all go for all my caffeine needs?
The first stop was at Render Coffee. Not far from my hotel, which was located just across the street from the Prudential Center, a quick ten-minute walk through the gorgeously lush Southwest Corridor Path and past the red brick homes of the Back Bay area brought me to the small yet cozy shop that contains a wonderful sun room and patio, which is perfect for a relaxed breakfast or study session.
Despite the constant influx of customers, the shop was quick to grab orders, spit out flavorful coffee, and cook up breakfast sandwiches served on your choice of bagel. (Quick note: Bagels are big in Boston, which is kind of a pleasant surprise for me due to the fact that I live in taco land. Tortillas are king in Texas, so it’s hard to find a quality bagel anywhere around here. I wasn’t aware of how bagel deprived I had become until I was in Boston.)
I was so impressed by the vibe of the sun room at Render that I visited this place twice during my stay. Not to discount the coffee and food (which were amazing), but 10/10 recommend just for the seating.
The next day, I headed over to Pavement Coffee near the Symphony, which was on my way to the Museum of Fine Arts. This place is definitely a hipster/millennial destination, with creative breakfast sandwiches (they make their own bagels from scratch), a “Don’t Assume Pronouns” policy (respect), and just a generally young and hip atmosphere. (Note: This particular location is near Northeastern University and the Berkley College of Music, so it was filled with students and just a sprinkling of professors. Other Pavement locations may not have such a young vibe as a result.)
In my opinion, the bagel sandwich wasn’t as good as the one I had at Render, but more importantly, the coffee was still kickass and flavorful. At the end of the week, I even went to Pavement to grab a bag of whole beans to take home. (This morning, as I was brewing the coffee in my French press, my mother commented, “Ooh, that smells so good.” That’s actually a pretty amazing compliment considering my mother has been very vocal about her dislike for the light roasted, acidic coffee that I usually buy.)
Now on Tuesday, thunderstorms drenched the area, so my morning was spent at Trident Booksellers and Cafe and the Boston Public Library, trying to keep dry, but I eventually braved the rain and power walked over to the Thinking Cup on Newbury Street. I was particularly determined to visit this coffee shop for one reason: It is mentioned in the Magnus Chase books written by Rick Riordan.
I know, I know. Book nerd.
If I hadn’t been saving my appetite for a lobster roll that afternoon, I would have gorged myself on so many of the pastries and sandwiches at this shop. It all looked amazing, but I stuck with just a creamy cappuccino, which I sipped while reading and watching the rain fall outside. The place was packed (and it’s my understanding that it is always packed), so seating was a bit iffy and compact, but it is definitely a must visit if you are in the area.
I have a lot to say about my stop on Wednesday, so I’ll save that for another blog post and move forward to my final coffee shop visit, which was at Ogawa Coffee. Originally started in Kyoto, Japan, the Boston shop is the first international location of this popular coffee chain. It sports a unique breakfast menu, so I decided to try out the breakfast toast with a sweet chili mayo.
Y’all, I would put that stuff on everything if I could. It was so delicious.
As for the coffee, you really can’t go wrong here. I mean, how could you at a place that offers a single origin coffee flight? I just stuck with my standard black coffee, but I definitely enjoyed it as I watched the hustle and bustle of the shop from the top stair of the stadium seating, which is offered as an alternative to the standard table and chairs. It was a fun experience, that’s for sure.
As I look back on all of the pictures that I took on this trip, I am amazed that I didn’t visit more coffee shops, but considering how much I walked and ate and saw, there was just no way I had the time, the energy, or the stomach for it. In other words, I barely scratched the surface of what Boston has to offer for coffee, and I am definitely going to have to visit again to check out more of the places in the city.
With that in mind, I can at least safely report that the coffee in Boston is good. Real good.
Coffee snobs have nothing to fear.
And until next time,
The tired and severely exhausted Pookachino