Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rainy Day at Mocha Java

I visited Mocha Java, a coffee shop that has been in business since 1995. This coffee shop is located at 3 Eastern Ave in Dedham, mass. I have never been here before but it was recommended from friends who had lived in the area. The atmosphere is very relaxed, clean, comfortable and warm.
Today is a rainy Friday afternoon around 12pm and there is steady business with a few customers lounging. The baristas are very friendly, talking to customers along with customers sitting and doing work, talking with friends and relaxing. The type of customers seem to be mid thirties to fifties, men and women equally. This might have to do with the time of day though, as a high school is right near by but kids are in class now so it might be busier once they get out for the day. As a few customers are seated, most others are just getting their drinks to go, which seems they might be on a lunch break.
The shop has a pretty good variety of coffees, including signature lattes. These include caramel, butternut crunch, love potion, junior minty mocha and other unique flavors.
The barista was very friendly and mentioned that this Dedham centers’ original “coffee shop” and that recently they were able to put outdoor seating out front. The shop really seems to pride itself on connecting and being apart of the community as well as bringing everyone together through their business. The barista said that he had been working here for only about a year but the business has been around for almost 15 years. He mentioned that the mornings can be busy but people tend to mostly order the plain coffee drinks, and then later in the afternoon more lattes and cappuccinos are sold. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Java House in South Boston

Java House

I have always been told that South Boston was made up of Bars, churches and coffee shops. And that statement still stands true today (though I think the coffee has changed a little).

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On East Broadway in South Boston you could find at least three coffee shops while walking down the street. But Java House is the one you should actually stop at. Though its appearance has you questioning its taste once you try the coffee you’ll remember the saying ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’.

Java House has been around since 1989. Though it does not have the traditional local coffee shop feel you still feel its connection to the town. Even though it has no seating inside or out you likely to linger. The employees are friendly and the costumers are even more so. Staring a conversation with a total stranger is a cliché in a coffee shop but at Java you’ll leave questioning how you have never met that person before. The regulars come from a wide variety of people. With school, churches, and a courthouse surrounding the area you are sure to meet an eclectic bunch.

Where Dunkin Donuts gets it wrong.  Java does it SO right.  The flavors are there, but not overpowering.  The coffee tastes fresh, not like it is sitting in a tub for days on end. The iced Coffee selection is vast and each flavor is ordered from a different company to guarantee the best taste of each flavor. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Panache Coffee Shop Matt Bianchi

Panache Coffee Shop, Framingham MA

Panache Coffee Shop is located a half mile west of Framingham center on
680 Worcester Road or better known as route 9. Panache coffee is in a 
great location located on a busy road generating lots of customer traffic for 
the coffee shop. 

Panache Coffee Shop is also located near Framingham State 
University, and the Coffee shop gets frequent visiters there and 
enjoy their coffee while doing their homework. Panache Coffee 
offers free wifi which makes it a perfect place for college kids to
go and when I was there that was the general age of the customers

My visit to the Panache Coffee Shop was a great experience and 
would suggest it to everyone who loves coffee. I went on the 
weekend mid day and most of the seating was full. The store provides
 a great atmosphere to enjoy your coffee in and hold a conversation. While
in the shop it was mostly a sit down and have a conversation coffee shop, 
or do your homework. Not many people came and left almost everyone
came in and sat down. And Panache coffee does not offer a drive through.
Panache coffee has a great atmosphere playing soft  acoustic music lifting
the mood in the store, and has a warming environment due to the color
scheme and the warm furnature.

Panche Coffe Talks about there coffee very highly, "Panache 
Coffee only buys, roasts, and packages class 1 Specialty Grade
 coffee beans. These beans represent the top 5% of harvested 
coffee." and I would have to agree that the coffe is delicious. As 
for literature to go with their coffee, they provide books to read,
and also games to play with friends.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Coffee Milano ( Middleboro MA)

The Coffee shop in which I visited for this assignment was Coffee Milano located in the center of Middleboro, MA. I have never been inside the coffee shop before so I decided to try out this place across the street from the Honey Dew I always go into. Let me tell you, I will never go back into Honey Dew Doughnuts again. I decided to visit the coffee shop with my mother because we always make coffee runs together in the mornings at either Dunks or Honey Dew.

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When I first got into the coffee shop, it was just my mother and I, but also a group of 5 local business workers sitting around drinking coffee, and talking about the upcoming town selectmen voting.
When we were leaving there was a younger man around his 30s, and as soon as he got into the door the lady at the front knew just want he wanted.

I felt like it was a very friendly, nice, quiet environment. The lady working was a sweetheart, and explained to me the in's and out's of the people that visit this place, and how she runs things in the shop.

The price was by far more then reasonable, the coffee was very rich, and my bacon egg and cheese tasted like it was home made!

One Cool Feature I found that they had all the types of coffee bags out so you could look at the labels

Vienna Coffee with a Colombian Decaf.

Overall I give Coffee Milano a 10 out of 10.

58 Center Street Middleboro MA. 508-946-4006
Open Mon-Sat 7-5 Sunday 7-2

Looking Down to the Center of Middleboro
Right Across the Street is a Honey Dew
Sitting Area ( Wi-Fi)
Menu, Counter to Order

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cafe on the Common 12 S. Main Street Mansfield, MA

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Café on the Common is located in the center of Mansfield. It is across the street from town hall. There is competition all around it, there are several Dunkin Donuts, Honey Dew Donuts, and other cafes near Café on the Common. I went to Café on the Common on Sunday April 11 around 10:30 am. It was very busy there. When I first walked in, there were already people in line waiting to be seated. I was told it would be about a 20-minute wait. I noticed there was a coffee bar in there with several seats available so I asked if I could go to the coffee bar and they served me right away. Even with it being extremely busy, the staff was very friendly. The prices were cheap and their food is really good. You can get breakfast or lunch there. There menu was big and it took me a few minutes to decide what I wanted to order. I did not see any signs promoting a specific brand of coffee. I had 2 cups of black coffee. The coffee was ok, there was nothing special about it. Overall, I liked Café on the Common and I will go there again.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Supreme Coffee and Donuts

Supreme Coffee & Donuts is located on one of the three main streets going through the entire city of Brockton. They also have another location located in Seekonk.

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1284 Main St. Brockton, MA 02301

At Supreme Coffee & Donuts you'll be sure to find a parking spot with their large parking area and even if you don't you can just go through their drive thru. Since there is a Dunkin Donuts located about a mile away there is competition but you're sure to find much better service and taste here.

Inside you can sit either at one of their many tables or at a bar stool facing the street. Supreme's style was somewhat dated but the friendly customers and soothing music would make you forget the decor.

At 3:30 on a Sunday you wont find a rush coming into Supreme and are sure to be taken care of right away. I noticed most customers were blue collar males. The conversations were mostly about work and family. Everyone who came in were not only greeted by the employees but the customers as well. Everyone seemed to know each other and were very friendly. Some coffee shops sell strictly coffee and donuts but Supreme sells lottery tickets as well. It seemed to be a good way to make extra money because nearly all the customers had a coffee and a scratch ticket.

After about 5 minutes of looking at the huge menu I ordered a medium iced snickerdoodle coffee and a regular coffee. The coffee was brewed fresh daily and tasted really good. In total they had 42 flavors for coffee and also sold smoothies, frappes, cappuccino, and so much more. It seemed my choices were endless.

As if the coffee selections weren't enough I saw that their food options were just as much. From donuts to bagels to muffins to twists there must have been 20 different baked goods, all which were made fresh daily. I ordered a bacon egg and cheese on a croissant and it was delicious. The eggs and bacon were not precooked but handmade which made it that much better. I was told that they usually have a promotional food item or drink such as a minty coffee for St. Patricks Day or a football shaped donut for the super bowl.

The service I believe could have been better but overall was not bad. The two girls working didn't seem to know much about the coffee or shop but were very kind to not only me but every customer that came in. It took a while to get my food ready but I expected that since they were handmade sandwiches.
Overall my experience was really good and I'm sure Supreme will be seeing me again!

Better Bean Coffee Company Bridgewater, Ma

The Better Bean Coffee Company is located on 23 Central Square in Bridgewater, MA. The street is a part of a rotary that connects three secondary highways, Rt. 18, Rt. 28, and Rt. 104. Because of it's location it is very hard to find parking during the day, so most customers park elsewhere and walk to the coffee shop.

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 The coffee shop is open Monday-Friday 7am-9pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, and is closed on Sundays. It is a decent sized placed with a few tables and chairs for people to sit.I visited during the late morning between the hours of 10-noon. At first many of the customers came in one or two at a time to order coffee, and then left the shop. They use arabica coffee which they get from a custom roaster in upstate NY. The food menu focuses on mainly lunch items, such as sandwiches soups and salads. They have a website that also offers a catering menu, but the selection isn't very wide. http://www.betterbean.biz/

The atmosphere is very relaxed inside the coffee shop and the employees are very pleasant. Inside they played a lot of oldies music like Frank Sinatra, and along the walls they displayed art from local artists in Bridgewater. When I went I ordered a medium ice coffee black and a roast beef classic. The coffee was pretty cheap $2.00, and the sandwich was decently priced for it's size $7.90.

I highly recommend the Better Bean to anyone who lives in the area or goes to school at BSU. It is only a five minute walk from the campus center and the coffee shop offers free wifi.

-James Sheehan

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

eBar at South Shore Plaza in Braintree, MA

"A coffee shop attached to a department store!? Hogwash!"

Nordstrom? Nope, that other place hidden to the left.
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This could be the response from a coffee lover before trying the modern Nordstrom affiliated coffee bar for themselves. Nordstrom is well known for having over 100 restaurants in their locations around the world, but their Espresso Bar (now called the eBar) is very rare to find in comparison. You may be lucky to find one in your entire state; Massachusetts has a few. I found an eBar right off of the highway inside of the South Shore Plaza mall in Braintree, MA. The shop states that they provide “made-to-order, handcrafted beverages prepared by skilled baristas with completely fair-trade and organic coffee selections.” Signs inside the shop display that “they’ve embraced the philosophy of reduce, reuse and recycle by participating in recycling and composting programs, Using 100% compostable paper cups, buying bleach and dye-free napkins made with 100% post-consumer waste paper, and using only 100% recycled paperboard carry-out packaging.” Alright eBar, this is a good start…
Feel free to come by and sit underneath a staircase if you'd like.

I walked from inside the mall towards the eBar tucked away in the corner of the Nordstrom entrance. The shop is placed under the second floor loft and slightly hidden amongst the tables and couches they provide right outside of it. If you are coming from inside Nordstrom, you’ll find it by the exit at the end of the makeup section, which seems to be a clever reason why I saw many female shoppers stop there on their way out. On the second floor right above the eBar is a Dunkin Donuts in the food court, which usually has a decent-sized line.

The making of an "ice storm" drink, AKA the sweet coffee menace.

I went to the eBar at 1:00pm on a 50-degree day, so it was not immensely busy but there were many people drinking coffee creations at the tables and a few people in line. Modern architecture and design stuck out immediately as soon as I walked in. A couple of young girls that were in front of me bought enorme (their largest size) Mocha Banana “ice storms”, which I can assume would be quite the sweet toothed brain freeze. In the corner of my eye I saw one of the girls scrunched her face as if she just drank the sweetest drink in her life. The man in front of me saw that as well and asked if the caramel macchiato the eBar carried was also sweet, which was responded by the barista with a sincere “oh yes, but don’t worry it’s delicious! A specialty!” Maybe the baristas are trained the same way Nordstrom employees are trained, because they knew how to sell themselves like a true retail associate (I can tell since I am a retail associate myself). He paid for one and sat down to relax with his book.
Some angles of the eBar.
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 It was finally my turn to order and I simply asked for a black iced coffee, since I pretty much only drink my coffee black. She immediately replied saying “our coffee here is fine black, but even more amazingly phenomenal is our extensive menu of flavors!” She was so excited that I would not have been surprised if she had 5 espressos before she went on her shift. She then said that the Almond Roca was her favorite and recommended it to me. I respectfully declined but finally got persuaded by her to add cream and whipped cream to my iced coffee. The prices were quite fair and looking at their menu they had some other refreshing items among the abundance of different coffee creations, including teas and smoothies for instance. I asked if the eBar made their own coffee and she said they partner with Coffee Bean International for their coffees, whom I have never heard of but she assured me they provide top quality coffee. (Through further research now I can see that CBI cares for their coffee, but you can never be completely sure unless you’re right there seeing how they process it all)
The menu... enough to keep your coffee belly full for a month.
They had some bags of coffee pre-packaged on the shelves and had a fair amount of pastries displayed in a glass box available for customers to add on to their purchases if interested. I sat at the closest table and drank my whipped cream filled coffee while people continued to stop by the eBar every three minutes or so. It was definitely a mixed bag of ages, genders, and cultures, which makes sense since it’s in a mall. I do not usually enjoy anything sweet in my coffee, but I have to say it took me by surprise. I initially sensed the taste of high quality black coffee followed by a quick rush of milky sweetness. The more I drank it down, the more I was impressed by my cup, because even though the color was light brown due to the sweet additions, the tastes seemed to stay separated. It was like taking a sip of a black coffee then taking a bite of ice cream. Usually the sweetness ruins the blackness of the coffee for me, but this was certainly not the case for me at the eBar. I was very impressed by the coffee and I encourage anyone going to the South Shore Plaza mall to run by the eBar rather than settling for the completely average Dunkin Donuts inside the food court. A better environment, experience, and they actually CARE for their COFFEE!

Two thumbs up! (Really, this coffee tastes GREAT)

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Cafe Olio


Cafe Olio, a small cafe located in South Plymouth, MA was only established merely 8 years ago in 2005.  In Plymouth there are many different restaurants and cafes which all fancy the thousands of tourists that Plymouth has all year long.  But this cafe is different from the rest of the other cafes in town.

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Cafe Olio is in the center of the Pine Hills in Plymouth.  For those of you who do not have the pleasure of knowing what the Pine Hills are, it is a large part of southern Plymouth that houses thousands of people.  There are various houses, from apartments to condos to multi-million dollar homes and they house from young adults to the senior citizen community.  The Pine Hills has everything from a hairdresser and spa to a grocery store and liquor store to even there on dentist and dermatologist right inside of the neighborhood.  And of course you cannot forget their very own, Cafe Olio!
The location of Cafe Olio is not the best for their business.  Right across the street is the Market of the Pine Hills which almost does the same thing that they do, and is a little less expensive.  They serve the coffee and sandwiches and food just like the cafe.  

Cafe Olio is an Italian inspired cafe which offers many different options for drinks and food.  There drinks range from juice and tea to lattes and espresso and obviously coffee.  They also serve food daily.  There are breakfast sandwiches that they make every day and sandwiches for lunch made on the spot to order.  They also have various pastries that they make fresh daily.  The cafe is split into two different sections, the breakfast and pastry part and the lunch part.  The lunch portion is where you get your sandwiches and soups and salads.
Not only does Cafe Olio serve food at their cafe, but they also cater! But this cafe gets even better, they also put on different events for the community throughout the year.  They just had an Easter Sunday meal that they took reservations for.  And they are soon have a Kid's Concert and Pasta Dinner night.  

 I went to Cafe Olio on a Saturday morning at about 11:00, and it was about half full.  There are seats outside, but no one was sitting at them.  And there were about five tables inside along with two small couches.  The space was a little cramped for that many people to be there, but the seating was nice.  The environment was friendly but it was more of a locals kinda of place, where everyone knew each other and it was mainly older couples that were enjoying coffee and food.  When I walked in with my boyfriend we got a couple looks from the older people as if we did not belong.  The cafe was very clean and the baristas and the owner of the Cafe were very friendly and were always cleaning to make sure the cafe was clean for the customers, tables were wiped down immediately and trash was thrown away as quick as possible.

Amanda Hibbard

Mystic Coffee Roaster

Location: 30 Riverside Ave, Medford, Ma, 02155
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Mystic Coffe Roater Website Link

The Mystic Coffee Roaster logo

Mystic Coffee Roaster is In Medford Ma, actually just a few minutes from my house! It is tucked away on a busy street in the middle of the square. it is so tucked away that i didn't even know it existed until I started research for the project. Upon arriving i was not surprised with the lack of parking because it is in the middle of the busy town square. I found Mystic Coffee roaster from an online search and originally looked at the website. From the design of the website i was surprised at how small it was on the inside, and how plain is was on the outside.

The coffee shop was very small and quaint. It was a welcoming atmosphere, there were about 8 or 9 small tables. At one of the tables there was a young man listening to music and working on his laptop. At another table was what looked like to be a small meeting, with old people about 60 years old. It was not a very busy shop, I went at 130 on a friday morning, which is an awkward time. I stayed at the shop for about an hour and in that time customers came in about every 5 minutes, but only to carry out, there is not drive threw. There was one person working and he was extremely friendly. He did not have a problem with me looking around, and taking a bunch of pictures. He was a young worker and he did not have much coffee experience. He told me some basic facts about the shop, that it is a fairly new shop, only 3 years old. There is only 5 employees including the owner.

There coffee is 99% Arabica and they have many different blends. some of which were Ethiopian, Peruvian, Chilean, Sumatran, Guatemalan, Mexican, and Kenyan. They were all in tubs behind the counter where they were all dated for freshness. They roast their own coffee, and even have there own blend, it is called Mystic Blend. Mystic Blend is a dark roast coffee with a mixture of chocolate, vanilla, and other fruit flavors. I ordered just a regular iced coffee. All the coffees they have are available to be bagged, and sold, upon request. There is a website that you can buy there coffee from. Also on the website tells you that their coffee is sold at multiple restaurants and other local cafes. What i liked about this shop most was that they give you an open cup and there is a station where you can put your own milk, cream, sugar, whatever you like in your coffee. I like this idea because I hate when you get a coffee that is too light or too dark.

Another thing i loved about the shop was the decorations. They have bags of different coffees from different countries lining the walls. They also have pictures hung everywhere. I noticed that these pictures were available for sale. The man working told me that they are from local vendors around the community and that they cycle new pictures every month.

The menu was what i expected, there is all different kinds of coffee and tea. There was hot, cold, espresso, and also frozen drinks. For food they had croissants, bagels, muffins,and fresh pies. The menu is very colorful and inviting.

Overall i had a great experience at Mystic Coffee Roaster, the coffee was great and the shop was very inviting, and i definitely recommend it -Erika Aiello

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mocha Java, Dedham MA

In the heart of historical Dedham Square lies Mocha Java. It is a family owned and run coffee shop that has been located in Dedham since 1995. For those who are not familiar with Dedham Square, it is a cluster of a wide variety of stores and restaurants. There is everything from D'Angelo's to quaint fancy cuisine. Fortunate for Mocha Java, the only missing aspect of Dedham Square is a chain coffee shop to compete with.

Mocha Java is a very small coffee shop that provides their customers with a large variety of beverages as well as pastries and other light snacks. I visited the shop on a Sunday at about noontime. I ordered a mocha java coffee, black, and was surprised at how affordable the coffee was for such wonderful quality. Mocha Java coffee was described on the menu as: "The world’s first coffee blend –coffees from Ethiopia and Indonesia. Rich and Robust ". It was most certainly a rich coffee, but not as dark as I expected it to be, but then again I like my coffee extremely dark. My first sip of Mocha Java nearly burnt my tongue it was so hot! It is one of my pet peeves to receive lukewarm coffee, so Mocha Java got some points for having hot, fresh coffee.

The space of the coffee shop is extremely small, and there are only about seven tables inside that customers can sit at. I often go to coffee shops in order to get schoolwork done, but I don't see myself being able to be very productive at Mocha Java. There is limited space, and if you are lucky enough to get a table, they are tiny as well. When I sat down at my table, the back of my chair was touching the table behind me, and I felt like I was invading the woman's privacy that was at that table. It was very busy when I went so I had to wait at an outdoor table for a table to open up on the inside. Once I finally got a table inside, I was able to take in the full experience of Mocha Java. There was a wide variety of people in the shop, ranging from families with children, to teachers correcting papers. I had never been to Mocha Java before, but I instantly felt welcomed by the barista as she informed me of which coffees were brewing that day and their different roast levels. There was also a sign that was right next to the register that people could look at in order to quickly see the coffees that were brewed that day and a specialty drink of the day. The more I observed, the more welcomed I felt. The employees would greet regulars with a smile and brief conversation while they got their coffee for them.

I was curious about the coffee at Mocha Java, and because it tasted so good, I wondered if it was fair trade. After I enjoyed my cup of coffee, I went up to the counter to make conversation with the girl working there. I told her I was in a class that studied coffee, and that I was doing a small project on Mocha Java. Once our conversation got started, I asked her if the coffee served was all fair trade and she wasn't sure, but said she would find out. That is when she addressed a woman that was sitting at a round table reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee that happened to be one of the owners of Mocha Java! She was sitting in her own coffee shop enjoying her time there. She informed me that all the coffee was fair trade, which I was very happy to hear. She also said that the coffee beans are ground directly before brewing with both espresso and the regular coffee.

I will absolutely be visiting Mocha Java next time I am visiting Dedham. Although the space is limited, the most important aspect of the shop it exceptional, the coffee. I cannot wait to return and try some different blends of coffee, and maybe even an espresso drink! 

Jenn Sundman