Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mirasol's Café

   ~The Location

Located just a stone throw away from Umass Dartmouth, it's no question that Marisol's receives some of the most devoted coffee fans standing outside and around the corner for their favorite java.  In the area surprisingly enough is a Dunkin' Donuts, although seemingly vacant.

~The Atmosphere

 Given Sundays are the hottest day to visit a cafe, I had to say that this was like no other shop I've been too.  Inviting atmosphere, comfortable seats, and even free wifi? The only thing they're missing is an award winning cup of joe, oh wait, they have that too.

~The Coffee~

So, lets get to why your'e here.  The coffee.  If you're into a highly caffeinated ice coffee then the Chippi, (shown below) their signature drink is for you.  It's marketed as highly addictive and dangerous.  Just the kind of drink I like.

~The Service

As you can see above, Mirasol's gets busy.  Luckily, having an exceptional staff there to get customers amazing service both fast and seamless is the answer to all the problems.  They made the expected fifteen minute wait time into a food-in-hand satisfactory time of five minutes.


Friday, April 29, 2016

T's Cafe - Holbrook, MA

T's Cafe
228 Union St 
Holbrook, MA, 02343
Monday-Friday 6 AM - 3 PM
Saturday 7 AM - 2 PM
Sunday 8 AM - 1 PM

T's Cafe, located on 228 Union Street in Holbrook, MA is a small coffee shop only minutes away from my house. In the three years that it has been open, my first visit was only last week on Patriot's Day, April 18th. It was about 12:30 when I visited, and I stayed for about an hour. Upon walking in I noticed all of the signs were hand written on chalkboards and that there was a large variety of iced coffees to choose from. They had a variety of other beverages, both hot and iced, including hot coffees, chai, espressos, cappuccinos, hot and iced lattes, and specialty smoothies, but iced coffees definitely seemed to be their specialty.  

With two Dunkin Donuts' and a Marylou's all within a mile of the cafe, T's maintained a steady flow of customers in the hour that I was there. It is also only an 11 minute walk from the Holbrook/Randolph commuter stop, for all you Bridgewater people who don't want to drive.

The iced coffee flavors ranged from cookie and candy bar flavors like chocolate chip cookie, Almond Joy, and Rolo, to cereal flavors such as Coco Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with many more options as well. The iced coffee options seemed very similar to what you would find at Marylou's or Bridgewater Bagel. They also had a large variety of different breakfast sandwiches, paninis, and regular sandwiches, along with an assortment of different bagels and pastries. There was also a tv with a news station on for anyone who decided to sit and stay for a little bit.

I ordered a medium S'mores iced coffee and a chocolate chip muffin and sat at one of the three tables available inside. There was one family sitting down when I entered, consisting of a mother, father, and daughter, who stayed almost as long as I did. During my visit, about ten different customers came in and out, a few just getting food while almost all of them ordered a coffee.

While I was not able to get much information out of the barista who was working the counter, I did enjoy my stay, as well as my coffee, and would recommend it to anyone who loves a large variety of iced coffee. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dawn Til Dusk

Dawn Til Dusk is a small coffee and sandwich shop located on 90 Pond Street South Weymouth, MA.  It is owned by a woman, ironically named Dawn, who has kept it up and running for as long as I can recall.  In the summers when I was a kid, it would be a special treat to be able to walk down to Dawn Til Dusk and get a slush puppy on a hot day.  And as I got a bit older, maybe around 11 or 12, it would be an extra special treat if I were able to walk there by myself or with a friend.
The outside of the shop is very inviting.  The rustic colors make it look like it could be someone's home.  There are benches and tables with chairs set up in front of and besides the shop.  Dawn Til Dusk is located right next to a set of traintracks which can be loud, but children enjoy watching the train go by.  The white wooden signs on the side of the building show off just some of what Dawn Til Dusk's extensive menu has to offer.  On the menu, there are beverages ranging from raspberry lime Rickey's to vanilla hazelnut iced coffee (which is what I typically order).  For food, there are options for breakfast or lunch.  From bagels to fresh sandwiches, Dawn Til Dusk seems to have it all.

Behind the display counter are there muffins, bagels, danishes, croissants, and fresh fruit.  A small fruit cup is always my go to.  But what are not on display are the different sandwiches, wraps, and other lunch items that Dawn Til Dusk provides.  If I am ordering for lunch, I usually order the Mediterranean wrap. When ordering, you can call ahead for take-out or eat-in.  And if you do choose to eat-in, they will politely tell you to take a seat and then bring your order over to you when it is done!  They definitely have awesome customer service and a friendly staff.

As I mentioned earlier, I have been a customer of Dawn Til Dusk for what seems like 21 years now.  After all of the money I have spent here, specifically on coffee, I had never once thought to ask about where it had come from or how it was brewed until this assignment had been given to me.  When asking about the coffee, the barista did not know much about it.  She knew that it was from New England Coffee and that it was arabica, but she could not tell me much more than that.  I was sort of disappointed in her response.  Although the barista could not tell me much, it has no way altered my opinions on the small shop.  After asking her questions about the coffee, I then ordered my usual iced vanilla hazelnut with milk and no sugar.

In a separate area away from the counter, there is a room with tables and chairs with some large windows that look out onto Pond Street.  When I was a kid, the largest table with the stools was stocked with board games that we, as children, would get excited about playing while our parents chatted over breakfast or lunch.  Since then, the games have been removed (I am not sure if this is because not as many kids come in anymore or if they are just too occupied on their iPads and iPhones to play a board game).  Anyway, I was there early in the morning around 7:30am on a Wednesday which is why not many people were sitting down and relaxing.  Most of the costumers were getting their orders to go as they must have been on their way to work.  I sat at a table for two next to the window so that I could conveniently people watch.

 To the right, you can see where the two rooms, one with the counter and some high top tables and one with all of the lower chairs and tables, are separated.  While I was there, I could tell who the regulars were.  There was a group of men standing around chatting about the work day ahead of them.  They knew the baristas by name and I could tell that they were comfortable here in the shop.

Overall, my experience here is always pleasant.  I know a lot of the girls that work behind the counter from high school or just from around town.  Dawn Til Dusk is a local shop with a homey feel that welcomes all.  I have known the owner, Dawn, just about my whole life and when she is in the shop, she is always greeting her customers with a warm smile, as does the rest of the staff.  Growing up next to a local business like this has been my pleasure.  Whether it is stopping in by myself for a quick coffee and bagel before work, going in for a fruit cup with friends, or taking the five minute walk form my house with my mom to grab a freshly squeezed lemonade, Dawn Til Dusk remains not only my favorite local coffee and sandwich shop, but a place of comfort and acceptance in the sometimes hectic town of Weymouth.

Further information:


Telephone number:  (781) 331-3860

5:30 am - 5:00 pm
5:30 am - 5:00 pm
5:30 am - 5:00 pm
5:30 am - 5:00 pm
5:30 am - 5:00 pm
6:00 am - 12:00 pm

Cafe Anthony

Cafe Anthony

Located at 983 Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge, MA, this small family owned coffee shop is a hidden gem. Right in between Harvard University and MIT, this shop is filled with college students studying during the day and by night! Cambridge College is located right outside the entrance of Cafe Anthony so in between class you might catch a professor or the dean grabbing a cup of coffee. This shop has a prime location because of its location relative to college campus'. The unfortunate part comes when you are trying to find parking, because it is very scarce around the Harvard Square area.

When I walked through the door around noon I was overcome by the smell of coffee and fresh food they were cooking in back! It is a small space inside but we found a table just fine. The environment was very nice, there are different local artists art displayed in there with small wooden tables to do work on. All of the customers in there were either college students on laptops or elderly couples grabbing a coffee and a bite to eat.

The food I got was what they are known for: an iced mocha latte and a chipotle chicken panini, both were delicious!

What I found really interesting was that they sold big bags of coffee from different countries with the one way chambers to release pressure from the roasted coffee. These bags were also very cool because they included their roast date, character, region and elevation grown, plus body and notes which I hadn't seen before!

This shop also does a coffee of the day where they brew a different countries coffee each day, giving every cup you have a slightly different feel and taste! But overall I really enjoyed my experience with Cafe Anthony! The food was delicious, the coffee was great, and the customer service and atmosphere were very good for that of a small family owned shop. If you're in the Harvard Square area and are looking for lunch and coffee, this is the place for you!

Monday-Friday- 7am-12am
Saturday & Sunday- 8am-12am

Redeye Roasters

Redeye Roasters
Hingham, MA

Redeye Roasters is located in Hingham, MA in Hingham Harbor. I first heard about this shop from a family friend. I visited the coffee shop on a Sunday morning with my dad around 9:30am. The shop was filled with both regulars and newcomers of all ages.                          
The shop had a very homey feel. There were a couple of couches and chairs for customers to sit and relax. A beautiful view of the Harbor can be seen through one of the cafe windows. 

The staff was very welcoming and educated on their business and the coffee that they sell. There are posters at the counter advertising the different coffee beans that they offer. The coffee shop offers coffee from six different countries including Indonesia, Columbia, Honduras, Guatemala,
Ethiopia, and Rwanda. 
The coffee shop offers a fairly extensive menu. They offer both cold and hot coffee beverages, hot chocolate, and tea. For food, they offer breakfast foods, a variety of pastries, and an assortment of grilled cheese sandwiches. When I visited, I ordered a salted caramel latte, which was the coffee of the day for that day. My dad ordered a pour over coffee with beans from Ethiopia. Both of the coffees were very delicious!
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Redeye Roasters. The staff was very nice and welcoming, and the coffee was delicious. I would definitely recommend visiting the shop if you are ever in the area!

Redeye Roasters
3 Otis Street
Hingham, MA

Hours: Monday-Friday 6:00am-5:00pm
Saturday-Sunday 7:00am-5:00pm

Pavement Coffeehouse

Pavement Coffeehouse

On the Saturday of a long weekend leading up to the famous Marathon Monday, Newbury Street in Boston, Massachusetts was filled with tourists. It was a beautiful day outside, so I decided to take advantage of it by going to visit a coffee shop in the area that I had never been to before called Pavement Coffeehouse.

When I entered the coffee shop, I was surprised to see how busy it was considering it was about 4:00 and the coffee rush is usually in the morning. There were many people in and out during my time in the coffee shop. The inside of the coffee shop was very pleasant and welcoming, and there was even a sign hanging up about contacting the shop if you were interested in having your art on display. There was not a lot of seats available for the inside of the cafe due to how busy it was, but they had an outside seating area as well.

To drink I had was a drip coffee, which they served black and had an area to add cream/milk and sugar as desired. The coffee was very fresh and flavorful. I found out that they get their coffee from Counter Culture Coffee. Counter Culture Coffee is a great company that assures quality coffee by roasting, bagging, and shipping the coffee all on the same day. They also identify the farm and cooperatives and identify the origin of where the coffee is coming from. The Counter Culture Coffee Pavement Coffeehouse had on display were products of Ethiopia, Columbia, Bolivia, and New Guinea.

The menu had a lot to offer with hot or iced coffee, tea, and espresso. They also have a breakfast menu consisting of bagels and different types of breakfast sandwiches, and sandwiches and salads for lunch. While I only had a coffee on my visit, I learned from their website that they are very well-known for their food as well, and they have even received numerous awards including "One of Boston's Best Breakfast Sandwiches 2016", among many others related to their food and coffee.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Pavement Coffeehouse. There are six different locations, all in the Boston area, all of which have their own unique ambience. The coffee was very flavorful and fresh and comes from a great company, focused on providing the best for not only the consumers, but also the producers such as the farmers and cooperatives.

Locations & Hours of Operation:

1334 Boylston St

44 Gainsborough St

Empire Tea and Coffee

22 Broadway, Newport, RI 02480

Empire Tea and Coffee is one of the busiest coffee shops in Newport despite being eight minutes from a Starbucks, five minutes from a Dunkin Donuts, and on a street with an abundance of coffee shops. What has made this shop stand out for over twelve years?
 Empire only uses single estate coffees for all of their coffees. They roast their coffee daily, to a perfect medium roast, and brew the coffee that same day. Empire also sells the roasted coffee beans for you to brew at home. Some of their coffee varieties are Naga, Matagalpa, Mogiana Eagle, Cosecha, and River Lane.

As if the coffee was not enough to bring people in, they also carry over 50 types of specialty loose leaf tea. Empire also prides itself as being part of the community. They try to use local ingredients from local shops, like cakes from local bakeries or local honey in one of their most popular drinks the Aquidneck honey latte. The cafe also provides coffee for other businesses, like Megs Milk Bar and a couple of local pubs. Empire also collaborates with the local surf shop Water brothers, to put on Surf Fest every year. Every other week the shop donates coffee to help attract people to Clean Ocean Access events, a program that helps     clean the local beaches.

Inside the shop is a laid back environment, where the baristas do a great job of creating a friendly atmosphere. It is a great place to hang out with friends, catch up on that book you have been meaning to read, or get some homework done. Some of the regulars will even spend all day in the shop working from their computer.

All in all, the shop is definitely worth a visit. It does not matter if you are a coffee or tea person, or a pastry or panini person, there is something for everyone at Empire Tea and Coffee. The Broadway location is open everyday six am to nine pm, giving you plenty of time to stop in. Enjoy!

Muffin House Cafe


Sun- Thurs: 5:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 5:00 am - 7:00 pm

116 Main St, Medway MA 02053 
 1 (508) 533-6655

Not only is the Muffin House Cafe known for their Phantom Gourmet-approved muffins, but for their coffee as well. They brew over 30 flavors of coffee daily, and without the use of any syrup. This makes for a truly decadent but authentic cup of coffee. Muffin House Cafe receives their coffee from a local roaster, Red Barn Coffee of Hopkinton, MA. Red Barn Coffee does not only brew many different flavors of coffee, but they are an organic and fair-trade buyer as well. They have a wide variety of iced coffee, hot coffee, and other drinks. Along with this, the Muffin House Cafe has a great variety of muffins, pastries, sandwiches and cakes. 

People come for the delicious coffee that the Muffin House Cafe offers daily, but they stay for the friendly and small town vibe in the atmosphere. If you go on a weekend morning, you will see a lot of families, middle and high school students with their friends, and even some older folks catching up with old friends. The Muffin House Cafe has a little something for everyone. 

The Muffin House Cafe took the place of a business called "Coffee Sensations". Many people would not put a cafe or bakery in the same spot where a failed business already was, but for the owner Sheldon it was a perfect spot. He managed to take an out-of-date hole in the wall and really make it a nice environment with outstanding food, drink, and service. The Muffin House Cafe is located within two miles of a Starbucks, two Dunkin' Donuts, a McDonalds, and a Burger King (all of which sell coffee). This has not stopped the Muffin House from blossoming as a successfully run family-owned business. 

For my visit, I had a medium milk chocolate almond iced coffee, and it did not dissapoint. Again, since there are no heavy syrups and the flavors are brewed into the coffee, it made for quite the delicious cup. My mother had a small, regular iced coffee with no flavoring and she said it was delicious as well. We were able to take advantage of their outdoor seating since we went on a nice day. Along with my coffee I indulged in one of the Muffin House's blueberry muffins, and it made for a great little meal to enjoy with the company of family. Overall, the Muffin House Cafe is a great place to go if you want a wide variety of coffee options, and some delicious food with it. If you're ever in the Norfolk County area, stop on by the Muffin House Cafe.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Country Kitchen- Walpole, MA

          Lying mere minutes from the center of Walpole, and mere seconds from the Dunkin Donuts next door, Country Kitchen in Walpole offers a down to earth, home-sweet-home feeling one can usually only find in the deep south. Despite specializing in America's deep-fried and frosted fascination, Country Kitchen also offers coffee from regional roaster New England Coffee. While this java isn't the organic, fair trade, shadegrown coffee we all wish it could be, it's not a bad option when it comes to locally roasted coffees. The staff is friendly and pour their hearts into their donuts, of which they have a reasonable variety, and bagels, of which the selection is a little more limited but still liberating.                                                          
Manager Cheryl showcases CK's famous half off dozen, available at certain times later in the day.

          Country Kitchen's atmosphere is very much a product of the community it lives in. At any given point in the day, one can expect to see locals, townies, and regulars sitting at the counter, talking about the goings-on of Walpole. It seems to me that the diehard locals here are some of the only people aware of this hidden gem in the heart of Walpole.

The Wired Puppy- Provincetown, MA

In line at the The Wired Puppy, a coffee shop near the water front in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the woman in front of us mumbled that it was "the first line of the season."  The coffee shop was buzzing even during the off season in a town that is heavily populated with tourists in the late spring and summer time.  I asked the woman if this was her favorite coffee place and she told me that basically if she wanted regular coffee she would just make it at home, but she ventured out to the Wired Puppy because of their superb flavored and speciality coffee drinks.

I got the coffee the coffee of the day which was delicious and only $1.75

I was pleased to see that they had organic dairy substitutes! 

These four different blends were considered the coffee of the day.

Coffee of the day was prime.

Very warm and comforting atmosphere. 

Great people watching from the bar over looking the street.

Free parking during the off season!!!

The water front is right around the corner from the Wired Puppy, I got this shot from the parking lot.

Monday, April 25, 2016

My experience at Somethin's Brewin Bookstore and Cafe

Somethin’s Brewin Bookstore and Café
(508) 946-5055


Address: 241 Main St, Lakeville Massachusetts
I grew up in franklin Massachusetts and all we really had around that area was just the same old chain coffee shops like “Dunkin Donuts” and “Honey Dew”. Upon driving up to this small coffee shop on peaceful back roads I was excited to see what a true coffee shop looks like and what it really entails. Once you arrive you are immediately in captured by the vastness the building itself presents for someone visiting for the first time such as myself.

 My friends Abby, Sam, Shannon accompanied me on this lovely 16 minute trip from campus. I figured it would be best to go with them because they are avid coffee drinkers and I am not so much. We went at about 12pm on a warm Monday, which was not a very busy time.  We were glad regardless, because then we could actually see the effort that was put into this lovely coffee shop.

As I entered I experience a feeling of being welcomed with open arms because of the way the workers greeted me. Upon explaining why I was there, and what I was doing, they could not have been more willing to provide me with the information I needed. When talking with the owner she said that the mornings are usually the busiest time. I also discovered that they have been in business for eight years and are doing well. They get their coffee from Speedwell Brewery in Plymouth, which produces a vast majority of different, good quality coffee. When you enter this shop and you look to the left you see books and people casually sitting invested in conversation as well as joking and laughing. The welcoming feeling is only more embraced when you realize the community books they have available to enjoy while you sip a cup of coffee, as well as a variety of comfortable seating arrangements. 

With all these factors in consideration I would say that Somethin’s Brewin Bookstore and Café, I would call this lace a very peaceful and welcoming coffee shop to attend. The workers are very pleasant and the furniture and atmosphere are very welcoming as soon as, and even before you walk through the front doors. They also include patio furniture as an option to sit outside in the nice weather and enjoy some sips. Before leaving I ordered a specialty coffee called a mocha iced coffee. The quality of this coffee did not match the cost; I would have paid more for it. Once I thanked them for their help I exited with my friends and sat outside on the patio furniture with them in the nice warm weather and we just all talked and drank good coffee. As strange as it is to say I have never really experienced an event such as this in my life before. I never usually went out of my way for coffee like that (Though it was well worth the drive). Now I feel changed and I feel as though I have a new aspiration for coffee. All in all I would rate this coffee shop a 9 out of 10.