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Old 12-24-2009, 07:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Great coffee shop - Barismo in Arlington, MA

Originally Posted by trogdor View Post
I'm in the Boston area for Christmas and stopped by a small coffee shop. They impressed the heck out of me; if you're ever in the area you should stop by and check it out.
I walked in and thought - hey, smells like roasting coffee in here. Looked over the counter and there's a giant roasting machine and a guy roasting coffee. They sell beans. This is their main business. The beans are expensive (~$15 for a 12oz bag). The bags are all labeled with the roast date (yesterday) and the roaster's initials.
It's a tiny shop. There's no real seating, but they also sell espresso, pour-over drip (made to order) and vacuum brew (made to order). I've never had a really good, straight up espresso (never found a small coffee shop that really took itself seriously) but I figured if any place was, this would be it. Damn the espresso was good. The guy working the register ground the beans, made a test shot to taste himself to make sure it was running correctly, and made me the best shot of thick, rich, coffee goodness I've ever had. No bitterness at all. I ordered a second. He was happy to chat about coffee (I can't see them ever doing volume selling espresso there at this level of quality). He said they were all about making the coffee right, and was happy to talk about their equipment, business, etc. They have been there for about a year and a half roasting for local businesses and online sales, and just opened up in the past few months for in store brewing and espresso.
Bottom line - expensive: yup. Worth it - yes for the espresso, maybe for the beans if you are pressed for time and can't roast any yourself. I may go back there tomorrow and try the same coffee as pour-over and vacuum brewed and see for myself what the difference is (never had vac-pot before). Certainly worth supporting a business that is doing things right.

Barismo online store
Barismo blog

I'm not supprised a bit; we Bostonians are SERIOUS about our coffee. My desk at work (in Boston) is 8 feet from a coffee cart; and the espresso, as well as all the other coffees, is outstanding. They only use Poland Springs water in all their coffees, espresso included. Tap water has NEVER touched their machines. If you're ever in Salem, Mass., Go to Pickering Wharf and there's a little coffee shop, I forget the name, but you'll see it. Absolutely sublime!
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