2 Progressives and an Old Standby in Boston
Recently, I found myself in Boston with a few hours to kill, so what else did I do but go on a coffee tour of Arlington, Harvard, and Cambridge?
Uber-coffee geeks Jamie van Schyndel and Ben Kaminsky of Barismo recently opened a kiosk in their Arlington-based roastery, and I made sure to make it my first stop. While not quite “officially” open (they are waiting for official word from the city), Jamie was pulling shots and making pourover coffee for anyone who happened to wander in. When I walked in there were a few people chatting with Jamie as he pulled test shot after test shot, working to get it just right. Eventually he found the sweet spot and served them their drinks, and they left with several pounds of coffee.
Jamie pulled me a shot of Linnaeus Street. It was complex and cloying, and I enjoyed it immensely. Later I also tried a pourover of Kiandu which was also really very nice. We discussed the merits of seasonal coffee, since this was still a very good cup of coffee after being harvested over a year ago and decided that while it may not be as complex and explosive now, it’s still worth drinking. Jamie and I chatted for a couple of hours and then he told me to go to Hi Rise for coffee. They were making wood necks of the Kiandu today, he said. Since I didn’t know what the hell that was, I decided to go check it out.
So I left Barismo to try to find Hi Rise. I got lost and ended up in Cambridge, so I went to our original Boston haunt, The 1369 Coffeehouse. This is actually the first place I ever had coffee: the beginning of the end. Before this place, I was actually able to get up in the morning without the use of any drugs. Imagine.
I was there only for a few minutes, however, as they were very busy. I ordered an cold-brewed iced coffee, and drank it outside at one of their outside tables while I tried to find how to get to Hi Rise. Eventually, I figured it out and got back on the road.
When I finally arrived at my next destination, I realized they were a bread bakery (thus the name of the place wasn’t talking about a building, but a bread), therefore, I was saddened to see that I had missed their lunch by just a few minutes, and would have to wait to try their food, which Jamie told me was very good . I enjoyed a single-cup of the Kiandu, prepared in a way I hadn’t had it before, and had a spinach and cheddar covered piece of French bread (very good), and left, fighting traffic out of the city.
It’s nice to see that Boston is starting to build a progressive coffee scene, and at least at two shops, it’s a very progressive scene. I look forward to see what Boston gives us in the coming years.