Wednesday, May 27, 2015

PERKethic -- Newport Metapost

A Coffee Maven Review 

Newport, Rhode Island is a perfect walking town, and by extension a perfect place for cafes. We are staying in a harborside hotel a couple of miles from the seaside campus where my favorite librarian is spending her birthday sharing her scholarly work at a library conference.

We plotted a route along which we were confident we would find breakfast, and indeed we found a scrumptious repast at Gary's Handy Lunch. It is a geniune locals place with regulars packed in around the central counter. But visitors were eagerly welcomed as well, and quickly served a delicious breakfast. We did not expect much of the coffee, and our expectations were met. We observed that generally, one can have a good breakfast or good coffee, but not both in the same place (except at our house, of course).

While on the way to lunch, Pam's keen eye had noticed an article about coffee shops on the cover of a local free paper. She opened the box, and working around the trash someone had carefully placed there, she retrieved the latest issue of Newport Mercury. Once we settled in at Gary's Handy, we browsed PERKethic, a nice review of a half-dozen local cafes by freelance writer Bre Power Eaton.
Image ripped from Google Streetview. Neither on its imagery nor in the location tags has Google caught up with the change in ownership at this location. I like the old name a lot better!
She describes each place from the point of view of someone who uses cafes for working online, and she favorably reviews Teas and Javas, a place I had noticed at about the same time Pam picked up the newspaper. I had already decided to stop there on my way back to our hotel (where I am now finishing this post, after spending an hour or so in T&J).

I agree with Bre's assessment -- this is a very friendly place with plenty of room to work or chat. It also has power outlets near many of the tables and although it does not have a full breakfast, it has quite a nice little menu of sandwiches, smoothies and even gelatto. I just had the coffee -- I was delighted to see that T&J actually uses the cup warmer on top of its espresso machine for its intended purpose, and serves dine-in coffee in ceramic cups!

This is not specialty coffee -- the baristas did not know what I meant by "origin" or "varietal" and its website's claims about fair trade and organic are probably not true, since they serve Illy. But it is a very nice cafe that is a comfortable place for visitors and locals alike.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Better Bean Coffee Company

The Better Bean Coffee Company is a local coffee shop that has been under new ownership and management since October of 2013!
 The shop is located only a couple minutes away from Bridgewater State University's campus and is right on the rotatory here in Bridgewater, MA!

23 Central Square,
Bridgewater, MA
(508) 279-9952

Mon.-Fri. 8am to 9pm
Sat.: 8am to 9pm


I went in to the shop on a Tuesday at 10:30 am. When I walked in, there was 2 men simply socializing over a cup of coffee from the shop. As was there, multiple moms came in with their infant children to meet also over a cup of coffee. There was also a guy on his laptop taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. The shop also had multiple regulars that picked up what they ordered and walked out the door. In the shop was evidence of what makes a local shop close to the community. They had the local newspapers, local business cards, town announcements, and art made by artists in the community.  
Better Bean Coffee Company serves Arabica coffee from a custom roaster in upstate New York. Along with brewed coffee, they also serve hot chocolate/apple cider, tea, ice and blended beverages, sandwiches, and salads. The full menu can be seen by viewing the shop's website


There are 4 Dunkin Donuts locations within a mile of the Better Bean Coffee Company coffee shop. 2 of them are on Bridgewater State University's campus along with a Starbucks.

Elizabeth's Bagels

Located in Franklin, MA, 346 West Central Street. Elizabeth's bagels serves as a crucial part of many Franklin resident's typical morning routine. Even though there is a dunkin donuts .2 miles away from Elizabeth's, this bagel shop still prevails business wise to find itself full of loyal customers daily.

House Blend, Decaf, Rain Forest Nut, Hazelnut, Seattle Dark Roast, Organic Mexican and Seasonal Flavors.

Bagel Flavors
Plain, Sesame, Poppy, Everything, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Cracked Wheat, Cheddar, Egg, Pumpernickel, Cinnamon Sugar, Cinnamon Raisin, French Toast and Patriot.

Bagel Cream Cheese Flavors
Plain, Chive, Scallion, Vegetable, Garlic Herb, Bacon Cheddar, Kickin Jalapeno, Olive and Pimento, Strawberry, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Maple Walnut

Catering service: Not only does Elizabeth's provide for the average everyday person in a rush to grab breakfast and go, but Elizabeth's also caters to large groups of people. This is a great resource for anyone trying to throw a large event during breakfast or brunch times.

Not only does Elizabeth's offer bagel catering service but they also provide lunch sandwich catering service for a lunch or evening event. This is a great resource for any large gathering event as long as the order is placed within 48 hours of the event. 

This is a very customer friendly environment in which I highly recommend that anyone passing through the Franklin area goes to support this amazing local business!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Brewed Awakenings!

Brewed Awakenings
Hingham Center
Corner of South & Main St. 19 Main Street
Hingham, MA 02043

If you are ever in the Hingham, Ma area this coffee shop is definitely one to stop by! Located at 19 Main St, Hingham Ma this coffee shop is right in the heart of Hingam center! 
Along with this coffee shop, there are plenty of other stores around in the area if you wanted to take your coffee to go and walk around on a nice day. Once entering the shop, you will be greeted by their friendly employees and a warm atmosphere! 
Brewed awakenings has much more to offer than only coffee as they sell everything from pastries, to smoothies, sandwiches and more! They have wall of coffee beans to which one can grind themselves and take home to go! 
They also proudly serve fair trade coffee which is an absolute plus! Jims organic coffee along with Cafe Jose. Over all this is an awesome coffee shop that everyone should experience!


Facebook Page: 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Andrews Bakery

Andrews Bakery has been in service for over twenty-five years now when Julie Andrews started baking a few cookies and pies. Owned by Julie and her husband, today the coffee shop has evolved to serve the area with not only cookies and pies but also cakes, pastries, sandwiches, salads, coffees and teas. In addition, gift baskets are made and offered for many occasions.

123 Belmont Street in South Easton, MA
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM


When approaching the shop, it can be found on the left
hand side of the road with a wooden sign that reads:

Andrews Bakery provides free parking to those who would like to stop in 
and drive-thru service for those on the run!

My first impression of the bakery from viewing the outside is not what I would imagine a common coffee shop to look like. As shown above, the coffee shop at first glance looks like someones home. To my surprise, walking into the bakery there is a very open space with plenty of sitting space and big windows giving much light to the place.

Andrews Bakery showcases their tasty pastries and delicacies in windowed cases along with their freshly made bread (made from scratch) and offers pre-made salads and sandwiches for on the go.


The menu consists of a variety of choices from the bakery such as, cakes, pies, breakfast pastries, coffee cakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon buns, cheesecakes, quiches, calzones, and breads.
Including hot and cold coffees, teas, and choice of bread, sauces, and toppings when building your own sandwich.

In terms of the coffee served, Andrews Bakery offers a special brand called "La Minita" coffee. This coffee can be found in the mountain region Tarrazu in Costa Rica. Hacienda La Minita brings some of the world's finest green coffees direct from origin. Andrews Bakery roasts their own coffee every few weeks. Andrews Bakery serves your choice of dark and house roast coffee.

Options include: Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, and Hot Cocoa.
Added flavor options include: Hazelnut, French Vanilla, and Almond.
All options can also be iced.

All in all, my experience with Andrews Bakery was a nice experience. The cashier seemed to be a college student who has been working there for about 6 months. Stonehill College can be found about less than 5 minutes away and accepts Stonehill Student Cards. 
Fun Fact: Julie Andrews is a Stonehill graduate, Class of '69. 

Although Julie was not available to answer potential questions that I had due to her need of attending to situations in the back, I can conclude my experience as a pleasant one!

Nearby Competition: 
Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks can be found 5 minutes away by car.