Sunday, June 16, 2013

29 Diner -- Fairfax, VA

A Coffee Maven Review 

What could be more geographic than this? 29 Diner is located in the center of Fairfax, Virginia along U.S. Route 50 -- the great east-west road that connects Ocean City to Pasadena, and the road where my father's family were pioneers of the western suburbs of Washington DC in the days before Dulles Airport. It is located in the middle of a two-mile stretch of Route 50 that is conterminous with Route 29, and it is for this north-south thoroughfare that it was named in 1947.

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The history of this diner exemplifies the intertwined history of transportation and diners that characterize the mid-twentieth century. Establish in 1947, 29 Diner is a registered historic landmark located directly on Route 50 near the center of Fairfax. It is significant not only to the Commonwealth of Virginia, but also to my family.

This car has seen a lot of diners and cafes, but few as authentic as this!
My Aunt Jeannie’s mother was known as “Grandma Sue” by most people in the extended family, of whatever generation or bloodline. Over the years, one or the other or both of them had owned a variety of restaurants in northern Virginia, including this one near the center of Fairfax

Today, it would be difficult to find a more authentic diner experience in Virginia or anywhere. The experience, in fact, borders on the cinematic, as the banter of the waitress and short-order cook is alternately sweet and abrasive. As with any genuine diner, an amazingly diverse menu is served in a small space, amid Art Deco flourishes and an impressive amount of gleaming steel and chrome.

Though the menus appear to have been in service for decades, the dingy appearance signifies prices that have probably been in place since the Reagan administration --- which is when our waitress began her shift.

As fans of the program Twin Peaks know, with diners it is all about the pie. Although pie goes with coffee, we did not risk the "nostalgic" flavor of Maxwell House, but we could not resist sharing a piece of warm cherry pie.We are on vacation, but showed enough restraint to order just one slice among the three of us. It was delicious -- and gone so fast that our waitress thought she might have forgotten to bring it, because she turned around and it was gone!

New Deal Cafe -- Greenbelt, MD

A Coffee Maven Review 

I was brought to the New Deal Café in aptly-named Greenbelt, Maryland by a genuine champion of the New Deal. The pro-labor motif won me over instantly when we arrived. I later learned that the café is in the even more aptly-named Roosevelt Center!

My father-in-law John Hayes moved to Greenbelt at the start of his tenth decade, and this café exemplifies the value of having moved to a community of kindred spirits. The spacious café is situated in a walkable neighborhood, centered in a plaza that provides the community with many kinds of nourishment, gustatory and otherwise. Within the café – and without, in its covered patios – is plenty of room for sharing healthy foods prepared on site, along with beverages – including juices, coffee, and craft beers – along with conversation, poetry, and visual arts.

Though we were indoors with the sculptures, the patio is quite inviting.
While we were in the café, a friend of John’s approached to say that she had chosen the route for her daily bike ride so as to arrive in the café for a better look at his sculptures currently on display (and for sale). It was great to see that in just one year he has become a bit of local celebrity, both for his poetry and his visual arts. Learn more about each at his Bluebat poetry blog and his John Hayes sculpture site.
Greenbelt News Review June 6, 2013
The artist posed with his granddaughter (my daughter), who fortunately gets her artistic genes from the Hayes side of the family!

The pieces chosen for this show, incidentally, are but a few of John's smaller works, chosen for this particular installation. I am particularly fond of this blue piece, as it appears to float in a sea of blue.

In the café itself, the emphasis seems to be more on the food than the coffee, so I played it safe with some iced coffee – I plan to do some research with a chemist friend to find out why mediocre iced coffee is more tolerable than mediocre hot coffee. Anyway, the iced coffee was decent though not exceptional, the variety of soft drinks was impressive. My baklava was good – how can it go wrong? – and made with both pistachios and walnuts. Our daughter scarfed down a lentil soup that she found delicious.

In the hubbub of the greater DC area, this café and the surrounding Roosevelt Center – which includes a full-service cooperative grocery – is a welcome oasis of good food, tranquility, and the arts. As a geographer, I am particularly intrigued by the emphasis on circles in the planning of Greenbelt, a community with plenty of radial symmetry.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sweets and Java

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View Larger Map/> For my coffee shop project, I decided to check out Sweets and Java on 1207 Main Street in Holden, MA. Holden is the town right next to mine, I wanted to visit a coffee shop in my home town of Rutland until I realized that we don't have any since my town is so small! Sweets and Java prides itself on being an 'urban coffee shop'. It is a really cool concept because they beautifully managed to achieve their goal of bringing an urban vibe to such a rural area. This coffee shop is very reasonably priced too, which is great for customers who are on a budget.

 They have a wide variety of coffees to choose from, many of them are imported from other countries. Sweets and Java does sell whole bean bags of coffee, but they prefer that the buyer let them grind it to ensure the perfect texture every time. While they appreciate the natural wholesome flavors of a nice cup of black coffee, the delicious flavor additives are their specialty. From mocha vanilla lattes to caramel espresso, Sweets and Java has got it on their menu. Check out their menu right here!

 Sweets and Java is a pretty small coffee shop that many students like to go to before and after school. It is the perfect place to study, do group work, or meet with teachers. There are two tables for out door seating and about four tables inside the café.

 They will add sweetness to your coffee if you ask them to, or you can simply add whatever suites your needs at their cream and sugar bar! Speaking of 'sweetness', Sweets and Java wouldn't live up to it's name if it didn't have a whole showcase of home made pastries and gelato for sale, thankfully it does! A sweet treat makes the perfect pairing to go with delicious robust coffee. I would definitely recommend this incredible coffee shop! If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop on in  :)

The Better Bean Coffee Co.

I visited the Better Bean Coffee Co. in Bridgewater, MA.  This coffee shop happens to be only about a minute from the campus of Bridgewater State, located in the rotary near the campus plaza.  I went at about 8 PM at night, and there were only a few people in the shop.  I ordered a medium regular of the house blend, which is called Kave.  The Better Bean also has other choices besides just coffee, including a number 1 rated lunch in the area.  I would recommend this place to anybody that is willing to spend an extra buck for a quality coffee over a place like Dunkin Donuts or Honey Dew.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Better bean coffee

Better Bean Coffee

The better bean coffee is located at 23 Central sq. in Bridgewater, ma 023024. There are about 3-4 other small coffee shops located in close proximity but its biggest competitors are Marylou’s coffee which is located a quarter mile away on Spring St. and Dunkin Donuts which is also located a quarter mile away on Broad St. Image of better bean in respects to the closest dunkin donuts

Better bean coffee is a small coffee diner. I visited the shop around 7pm and stayed for an hour. The workers there were friendly and greeted me upon entrance. There wasn’t much traffic going in and out the café I believe it was because of the time of day I chose to visit. There was nice jazz music playing while I sat and drank my coffee which created a relaxing atmosphere.

The menus were very diverse. They did have lots of flavors to choose from. I got the banana nut flavored coffee, which was good. Other drinks on their menu were latté’s, ice coffee, smoothies, and frozen drinks. They also have pastries and lunch menus as well. They have day specials and because of their food service their peak hours are at noon. There is a setup area with about 6-7 small tables for two, this way you may enjoy either your coffee or your meal inside the café.

Overall better bean coffee is a nice small coffee café where if you want a place to be relaxed and have a quiet conversation with someone you should definitely stop by.

-Emanuel Lopes

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Café Arpeggio

Café Arpeggio

Café Arpeggio is located on 398 West Broadway, South Boston, MA. 02127. Café Arpeggio is one of the many coffee shop you could find in the neighborhood of South Boston. Beside this Coffee Shop you can find up to 9 coffee shops in less than a mile and up to 3 Dunkin' Donuts. There are lot of competition but they have a lot of customers which they doing a pretty good job in trying to give a good service on making them to feel satisfy and welcome to their store.

I visited this shop a couple time before and I kept coming because I like the environment of this shop. This shop always has a lot of people trying to buy coffee and sandwiches. For a coffee shop, they have space for people to stay inside of the shop and kill time or meet with a friend for a cup of coffee.

they have a lot of varieties of coffees, smoothies, and juices. Also they have a lot o type of cakes and bread that they buy from a local bakery. I encourage any body who is around the neighborhood to try to step in and try their coffee.

T's Cafe- Holbrook Ma

T's Cafe is located on Union Street in Holbrook, Ma. This shop has some serious competition where there are not just one Dunkin Donuts near by but four. T's Cafe opened in February of 2013 in which it is fairly new. They have a variety of coffees including banana cream, butter rum, irish cream, mocha cinnamon swirl, and many more delicious flavors!

My experience at this coffee shop was very pleasant. I got the banana cream iced coffee and was very impressed. They had many pastries and food items that you could purchase like their own signature pecan rolls. They people here were very nice and welcoming. If every in the area i would absolutely recommend this as a shop to stop at. Don't miss out !


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pie In The Sky

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 Pie in the Sky is located on 10 Water st. In Woods Hole, MA. It is a great small bakery and coffee shop. They claim to be open 364 days a year from 5 a.m-10 p.m. Upon entering, you walk up on an outdoor seating area with a smoothie bar that has iced coffee and lemonade on tap. When you enter, it is a very small shop with a lot going on, including a coffee roaster in the center of the shop (it probably seats about 10 people max inside) They roast coffee daily, which they get from Deans Beans. The bakery selection is also massive with fresh baked pretty much anything you could think of. You can get a sandwich on any of their breads and they're good, too! I would suggest the Vermonter, which has ham honey mustard cheddar cheese and apple. The coffee was also good, I had a cup of the Jamaican Blue mountain coffee which, although pricey, was worth it. It has a view of the steamship and the harbor (when there's no boat in the slip). They are fast, and friendly and the shop has a great vibe. I enjoyed my experience and wan't to check it out in the summer time when they have live music out doors. Definitely make it if you're in the area!

Zumis Coffee Cafe

Zumis Coffee Shop-  Ipswich, MA

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Zumis Coffee Shop is located on 40 Market Street in  beautiful downtown Ipswich, MA and is a local hot-spot for avid coffee drinkers and aspiring artists to show off their work and enjoy a nice cup of organic coffee.

My experience at Zumis Cafe was excellent.  From the moment I walked into the shop I could immediately smell the fresh coffee that was being brewed throughout the day.  I went around midday and the people inside were a bit different than I would have expected.  Many artists enjoy Zumis not only because of the coffee, they go there to show off their art work as the owners of Zumis change the inside decorations in the shop every couple of weeks.

I would absolutely recommend Zumis to any avid coffee drinker or anyone who enjoys a nice and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy a cup of joe or a nice pastry.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery

Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery
Akumal, Mexico
 For my coffee shop visit, I decided to explore Akumal while in Mexico on vacation with my family. Everyone, both the locals in Mexico and everyone on TripAdvisor, told us to go try Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery in Akumal. Akumal is located below Playa del Carmen and above Tulum, where all the Mayan ruins are. It was a very small coffee shop and you can sit outside under a thatched-roof hut and watch iguanas crawl all around you as you drink your delicious coffee! The coffee was superb, I got mine iced, and it was very earthy and fruity, packed with natural flavors and it's organic! I also got a caramel apple cheesecake for a little treat and it was absolutely scrumptious! The place was very packed - tons of tourists because it's right next to a resort. The experience is one I will never forget and if I ever go back to Mexico, i'll definitely be taking a drive down there again!
The coffee machines

The entrance

Ordering our coffee!

The little huts we sat in!

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Turtle Bay Cafe Website

Sugar Bowl Cafe

Last month I was around Dorchester area and while I was there I found a coffee shop. The coffee shop I visited was Sugar Bowl Café. It is located in a diverse neighborhood on Dorchester Ave. When I stepped into the shop, one of the first things that I noticed was the antique feeling to it. There was a quiet section for people to read. The area was decorated with old furniture but it looked cozy. The reason behind the antique feeling is because before it was a coffee shop, it was an antique shop. The owner of the coffee shop bought the furniture from the old antique shop. When I went to the shop, it was busy. I saw a mixture of people but most of them were older. There was a combination of people coming in, sitting in the quiet and talkative area. The shop offers free Wi-Fi which attracts students and professionals into the shop so they can do work while they drink or eat something. The menu is filled with different type of coffee, from cold to hot. I got to try a caramel coffee. I thought it was good. They also have a large menu of ice cream of 50 flavors or more. I would recommend to stop by if you’re in the Dorchester area and you are craving for coffee or ice cream.

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Stonebridge Cafe

View Larger Map Hi, my name is Destiny Perez Cruz and I got a chance to visit Stonebridge Cafe on a Sunday late morning. It was very crowded and if you wanted to sit down on the booth seats, you had to give out your name to the waitress and the wait is mostly up to 30 mins since there was a huge line outside when I went to visit. I didn't get a chance to talk to the workers because of how busy it was but I did call them over the phone and got some answers which I thought was very kind of them. This cafe place is open every day from 6am to 3pm. Coffee is freshly made and have the usual breakfast meals and you can get breakfast at any time of each day until 3pm. Moreover, when I asked them questions over the phone, the first thing I asked was where they get their coffee from and they said from Boston Fest which is an international coffee event and they have a chalk board where they put their coffee specials and meals as well of the day. Each day may be different or similar. They always have coffee and it never runs out because they have big pots of coffee and if it's empty, they make a new one. The people that sit on the stools on the front counter of where the waitresses are, are for mostly the people that come for their coffee and mostly go for seconds or thirds and they still have to tell their name to waitress to get a seat as well and it's always packed there as well so if you are a coffee drinker, you may want to be there extremely early so you don't have to wait in line for it. There is both decaf and regular coffee and both cost $1.90 which I thought it was amazing because most coffees cost more. They told me that you put your own cream and sugar and flavor on it if you would like because people do get picky with how they like their coffee and most people just drink black coffee anyways from what I was told. The iced coffees and teas cost way more that the hot coffees and the price is $2.30 and the sodas and lemonades and water cost $2.30 as well. I really wished that I could've came early to get a seat and observe more than I did because maybe I could've experienced more just like everyone did. If you like being in a crowded place and want coffee with family, definitely go here since it seems to be very popular. Most families and friends go here after a long day of church or events and enjoy a great late breakfast with a coffee on the side. I recommend everyone to visit here which is on 1285 Belmont Street in Brockton Massachusetts 02301 and their phone number is 508-584-5200. Their slogan is "WHERE IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY FOR LUNCH, AND NEVER TOO LATE FOR BREAKFAST" BY DESTINY PEREZ CRUZ

Green T Coffee Shop

       The Green T coffee shop is located on 754 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115 (at the Green Line "Fenwood Road" stop). Near by are the six colleges of Fenway, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Museum of Fine Arts.
     The coffee shop is open Mon. - Wed. 5:30am-6:30pm, Thurs. and Fri. 5:30am-3am, Sat. 7am-3am, Sun. 7am-6pm.
      There is no drive thru, but they have a nice sitting area. Also during the summer months, the open a walk by window were customers can purchase their coffee quickly on their way to catch a train.
      The clientele is mostly college students and doctors in large groups. The shop specializes in hot/cold coffee and teas as well as smoothies and cappuccino's. Breakfast sandwiches, bagels, cupcakes, and banana bread are also made daily.
       The shop gets their coffee from Red Barn Roasters, located in Upton MA. Their medium roast house dark blend is very popular and their new monthly special is the Ethiopian Harrah blend.
Check out their website!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sandy's Coffee Corner

12 Monponsett Street Hanson, MA

I had a chance to visit this coffee shop a few times around 9 a.m. on different days.  It is located at the intersection of routes 27 and 53 which are two main roads that see a lot of traffic throughout the whole day.  The biggest competition Sandy's Coffee Corner has is a Dunkin' Donuts located right across the intersection.  During one of my visits I was able to talk with the owner and she porvided me with some good information about the shop.  It is more of an early morning place where a regular crowd of older customers come in to talk and socialize, the busiest hours are between six and nine in the morning.  Every time I was in the shop there was always people sitting around a U shaped countertop talking with each other, it seemed everyone new one another.  Whenever someone else walked in the people in the shop said hi greeted that person like it was their normal routine.  The owner told me that she had been in business at that location for 14 years and that she buys all of her coffee from Bostons Best in Easton.  This shop has about ten different flavors for ice coffee as well as some pastries, muffins and other treats to eat.  I ordered a breakfast sandwich and a small hot coffee the first time I was there and thought they were both good.  It was nothing spectacular but I will definitely go again.  The atmosphere was kind of a simple place where customers could sit around and talk.  There is not any books around or a quite place you could do any reading or homework, most people went there to see a familiar face, talk and get their morning coffee.  Overall this is a nice simple shop that caters more to an older crowd of customers.  The food and coffee were both good and sold at fair prices.

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By: Sean Doherty

Friday, May 3, 2013

Coffee Sensations

     I chose to visit the local coffee shop, "Coffee Sensations" for my presentation. This coffee shop is located in Medway, Massachusetts. I went to this shop a few times, the first time being around 12:00 PM on a Saturday, the second time being around 10:00 AM on a Sunday. This shop was quite quiet during my first visit, with only a few people sitting on their laptops with schoolwork spread out along the table. However, this shop was quite bustling on the Sunday I went, and was filled with younger adults as well as elderly individuals waiting in line for their coffee. Most of the customers ordered their coffee and sat down to drink it alone, but a few others simply ordered their coffee to go. A majority of the customers appeared to be younger adults, ranging from the age of 18-26. I also took note that most of the customers were female. The coffee shop had a few promotional signs advertising seasonal flavors, such as "gingerbread man" for the winter months. I had the opportunity to try "winter wonderland", another seasonal coffee flavor- it was great! Coffee Sensations alternates promotional coffee flavors according to the current season. It was a great pleasure to visit this local coffee shop, and I will certainly be returning sometime soon.

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Lauren Hodgkins
May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tap Coffee

Location: 150, Nanchang Road, Luwan, Shanghai, China
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Tap Coffee is a pretty special cafe in  Shanghai. The theme of this cafe is to advocate environment protection. Every chair in the lobby of the first floor are made by abandoned or broken taps. Also, the menu are using by the recycle paper. An special account will be given if you buy the coffee with your own cups.

It opened up last year, and runs by two girls, Sam He and Sailing Liao, who have been stayed in Australia for several years. Sam used to be an international student in Melbourne, and she got a coffee-making certification in Australia. Another owner, Sailing, used to be a desert maker in a fancy and expensive cafe for almost three years. One reason that a lot of people prefer to come to this cafe is that they can enjoy more cheap but the same taste coffee and desert here rather than that fancy cafe.


This cafe has two floors. When we come inside, tables and chairs are put in order. Walked through the lobby, a nice counter and a magazine holder are shown in front of us. If people come to the cafe alone, they may not feel lonely, because they can read the magazine or enjoy the free wifi here. Walked inside, there is a side table and stair to the second floor.


Walk along the stairs, we entered into the second floor. This is how the second floor looks like. It supports people a secret and quiet place to talk or rest. The waitress told me that customers usually prefer to sit in the first floor during the afternoon time, because the lobby in the first floor is a perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine and the environment outside. However, during the evening time, people prefer to sit in the second floor, because of the mysterious decorations and comfortable environment.
 This cafe serve latte, mocha, cappuccino, long black, espresso, Macchiato. The most famous coffee they served is Flat White, which is developed in Australia. Also, another popular order is the coffee with hello kitty cream inside. I did not try this, because we have to make a reservation of it first. But I did order some nice dessert. Yummy!
The Waitress is very nice, but she seems do not know a lot of coffee. I guessed that she may not work here for a long time.
Compare to coffee, the dessert here are more popular. For my point, there are two reasons. First, Chinese people prefer to drink tea instead of drinking coffee, however, we have to admit that nowadays  more and more people in China begin to drink coffee. Second, the dessert here look very delicate. Also, as I mentioned before, the chef, Sailing, was used to be a dessert chef in a very popular, fancy and expensive cafe. Thus, people prefer to come here to enjoy the high level dessert with a relatively low price.
Most of customers prefer this cafe because of the decoration and the environment inside the cafe. It brings us a warm and neighborhood feeling. It is really a good place for friends spend on afternoon to get together here and enjoy the sunshine and the famous coffee and dessert!
I went Tap Cafe on Wednesday morning. No customers here except my friend and I. The day we went is a weekday, so that everyone have to go to work or have school instead of come here to enjoy the coffee. Without anyone inside, I really enjoy the quiet environment!

Even though this Tape Cafe is not the famous cafe in China, but I really like it, because of the nice coffee and warm environment!