Anyone who works, lives and rides in Downtown Crossing knows that finding a perfect cup of coffee in these parts—minus the chain brand attached to it—can be tough. Which is why we’re psyched to see places a handful of independent, artisanal-style shops take flight: with ethically-sourced beans, original pours and chill vibes, it’s (almost) like what you’d find in Brooklyn, minus the hipsters.
Here’s where you’ll find B/SPOKE staff getting their caffeine fix, all within a quick walk of the studio, plus our picks on what might become your new favorite brew.
Ogawa chose Boston as its destination for their first foray into the United States, deciding that Boston shared many of the demographic characteristics of Kyoto, where Ogawa has been headquartered since 1952. Like everything else we’ve come to see with Japanese design, this place is obsessed with quality in each step of the process, from its minimalist layout and architecture, to beans roasted just-right, plus a staff that cares as much about making your coffee as you do drinking it.
Get: The iced Red Eye (cold-brew coffee, served on tap, with an added shot of espresso) to go. Or if you’re going to stay, perk up with their signature drink: a cold-pressed iced espresso—served in a martini glass.
10 Milk Street
Headquartered in nearby Salem, where they roast their beans, Jaho has two locations in Boston (the other is in the South End) and come night time, also operates as a wine bar. When we’ve got time to drink our caffeine on site, we’ll relax on one of the couches or saddle up to the bar with a book; otherwise, expect speedy, friendly service when you get yours to go.
Get: The Scarlett Espresso: A blend of espresso, hazelnut and coconut, topped with liquid cremé brulee. Uh, yeah.
665 Washington Street
No matter the season, when the sun’s out, it’s hard to find a better spot to get your coffee fix: a glass solarium allows natural light to filter in and warms everything up (with outdoor seating available in warmer weather, the perfect place to catch a few rays on your lunch break). But we digress: it’s their on-point espresso drinks that have us raving.
Get: The Nocciobello, also known as a Nutella latte topped with freshly grated orange zest (Mark likes his iced), also known as our greatest discovery so far of 2015.
Post Office Square (look for the solarium across the street from TD Bank)
Gracenote doesn’t just want you to drink a good cup of coffee: they want to show you what goes into the making of your coffee, too. Which is why their staff is passionate about educating their customers about what goes into their custom roasting process (mass is more, it turns out), and how you can even learn to do it at home. Really.
Get: The Cortado, perfect for that afternoon pick me up.
180 Lincoln Street