Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blue Blinds Bakery, Plymouth MA

I stopped into the Blue Blinds Cafe late one evening while in Plymouth for a shot of espresso.  I had been to this joint before, but never as an under cover coffee critic.  It's location is in downtown Plymouth in view of the waterfront.  This Twelve Tribes own and operated business has a lavish atmosphere in a rustic old Plimoth Puritan way.  They also have a large selection of pastries, baked goods and specialty soft drinks on display.  I had a one track mind to get a caffeine boost, like never before, and ordered an espresso shot while my date got a small black coffee.  Too late for desert, we avoided the delectable deserts.  
 Blue Blinds uses Speedwell Coffee, a brand that takes tremendous care in its roasting techniques.  I enjoyed my espresso but am not an experienced espresso drinker, so I just thought it had an extremely strong and thick coffee taste.

     I recommend the Blue Blinds Bakery to anyone visiting downtown Plymouth.  It is in close proximity to Plymouth's nightlife and restaurants, as well as popular and historical tourist and ceremonial destinations.
                                                                                                                 Nicholas Maribett

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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Java Room Chemlsford,MA

The Java Room is a cross between sophistication and relaxation, though the title may make you think they are all about coffee, the java room offers more of an experience. Located in the cute little town known Chelmsford, MA. The location is great in the downtown in a plaza next to a Bertucci's, a bar, a bike path and many other stores. The Java Room has been in business for 8 years starting back in the fall of 2003 the owner Candy and her husband started it because of their love for coffee and couldn't find much coffee houses like the Java Room in a suburban area and hence the The Java Room was born. Their coffee is indeed fair trade and the best sellers off the menu are their lattes and cappuccinos. For food I hear the cranberry chicken salad and sandwiches are amazing and their quiches and muffins are among the favorites.

What separates The Java Room from other coffee shops the ambiance and people. They have a great staff who really care about the company and their products. The Java room is the perfect place to get together and enjoy live music...Oh yes there's live music on weekend nights!

For more information on the Java room visit their website:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Daily Harvest, Danvers

Coffee Maven Review
On the way in, I noticed this antique coffee grinder, similar to some
I have seen in the coffee museum in 
Photo: Dr. Vernon Domingo
I was lucky enough to have my birthday lunch with friends -- and fellow geographers -- at the Daily Harvest in Danvers, north of Boston. We were bringing our EarthView program to nearby Middleton, and since the day was ending early, we decided to have lunch afterwards (often our Friday lunches are school cafeteria fare, which is usually decent but sometimes odd).

Checking late the night before, I found a pub nearby whose online reviews were so negative that they seemed like a series of parodies -- exaggerated complaints about food and service, mixed with a few die-hard loyal customers. I found these so amusing that I posted them on Facebook, and immediately received advice from a former student not to eat in Middleton at all, but rather to enjoy fresh, local food at the Daily Harvest Cafe in Danvers.

This turned out to be a fantastic recommendation! The five of us selected five very different sandwiches from the eclectic menu, and we were all impressed by the quality of the ingredients and the care taken in their preparation. One member of our party exclaimed that hers was the best sandwich she had ever had. Of course, I had mine with a large, fair-trade iced coffee. It was as delicious as the meal itself.

Even better than the food is the service. Unlike many cafes I have visited, the management of the Daily Harvest clearly values its employees, who in turn value the customers. Since it was a busy lunch time, five or six people were busy taking orders, preparing the food, and bringing food to the tables. They were knowledgeable about the products and gracious. When they saw that my friends had brought a birthday cake (not knowing that we were headed to such a nice bakery), the staff started clearing our plates and brought out small plates for our cake, and invited me back for a birthday treat on the house. Since we frequently bring EarthView to this region, I'm planning to take them up on it.

This independent cafe, incidentally, thrives next door to a Dunkin' Donuts and within a half mile of no fewer than ten of the hellish franchises. The location of this cafe is quite convenient, though coming from the north we had our doubts. Where Maple Street becomes High Street, the signage and numbering are distinctly New England, meaning that it is difficult to align what the GPS is telling us with what we are seeing on the ground. Putting more faith in the voice from the dash than in our observations of street signs, however, we made it in tact. Leaving was a bit more of an adventure, as the cloverleaf leading to I-95/128/Route 1 is under construction, so that we had to thread our way among construction vehicles and pop out onto the interstate at full speed through a gap in one of those sound-proofing walls!

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We are done with EarthView visits to the North Shore for this year, but I think we will find our way back to the Daily Harvest Cafe in the autumn, if not before.

-- James Hayes-Bohanan

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Green Bean, New Bedford, MA

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Located at 740 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, The Green Bean is a convenient coffee shop to many college students. The Green Bean has a great atmosphere along with comfortable seating. The employees were friendly and open to answer the questions I threw their way. They also offer free wifi to their guests so they have the option to do their homework or to just relax and converse. They have a great selection of coffees, breakfast sandwiches and smoothies. Their top selling coffee is the House Coffee. Their prices are fairly reasonable, ranging from $0-10. They also offer a fresh smoothie bar. Some of their coffee is Fair Trade while some is not. With a Dunkin Donuts located two blocks away, The Green Bean does not feel the pressure.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cafe Olio in Plymouth, Ma

Located in the beautiful community The Pinehills, Cafe Olio is the go-to destination for coffee, specialty drinks, breakfast, lunch, and pastries in South Plymouth. After opening in 2005, Cafe Olio's Italian inspired ambience was quickly noticed and allowed the business to expand in 2007. Cafe Olio is open Monday thru Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brunch is served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday's. Breakfast, lunch, and hor d'oeuvres catering is also available.

Cafe Olio in Pinehills by Judy Jennings

Since its opening in 2005, Cafe Olio has proudly brewed Jim's Organic Coffee and The Republic of Tea. Coffee and tea prices range from $1.49 to $2.49 for single-cup brews. A variety of specialty drinks, such as epressos, lattes, flavored lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, chais, and hot chocolates, are also offered. Speciality drink prices range from $2.99 to $4.49. Due to the affluent area in which the cafe is located, the prices don't seem to effect business in any way.

Cafe Olio's in Pinehills by Judy Jennings

The breakfast and lunch menus are both delcious and affordable. Popular breakfast items include butter croissants, cinnamon buns, whole wheat bagels, and scones. On the other hand, an extensive list of soups, simple salads, deli sandwiches, grilled paninis, gourmet sandwiches, and prepared salads are available for lunch.

Cafe Olio in Pinehills by Judy Jennings

Without a doubt, Cafe Olio is a popular spot for all ages. As a frequent customer, I've seen a plethora of different groups of people within the walls of the shop. I've seen everything from business people having meetings and using the free Wi-Fi to groups of older women just enjoying one another's company. Jenny--the barista to whom which I spoke with--said that she believes that business is half dine-in and half carry-out. Cafe Olio has eleven rustic-inspired tables, so seating rarely seems to be an issue.

Cafe Olio is located at 3 Village Green North, Suite 312, Plymouth, MA 02360. The Pinehills is located off of exit three off of Route 3.

Brewd Awakening Coffeehaus

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Brewd Awakening Coffeehaus located on Market Street in Lowell MA is a great place to visit at any time of day. Throughout the day they offer a number of pastries, pressed sandwiches, and different coffees, teas, and smoothies. The coffee is all fair trade and they also sell Equal Exchange coffee by the pound. The atmosphere is unbeatable. There are tables and chairs set up cafe style, and then there is also some couches and comfy chairs to sit in. There's a variety of different types of music playing and it's the perfect place to hang out with friends or take advantage of the free wi-fi and sit and do homework! You can also bring your dog in with you! Brewd Awakening is even better on nights when they offer live entertainment. From poetry slams to local musicians- they have it all! I would recommend this to anyone visiting Lowell at any time of day!

For more information visit

Molly Brooks