When it comes to coffee, I love local coffee houses. Don’t get me wrong though, when I’m in California I love an iced vanilla latte extra shot of espresso in a for-here glass mug at Coffee Bean. Guilty pleasure. But there’s something about the ambience, people and taste of frequenting a local coffeehouse. Spending my teen years in Venice Beach, my go-to cafe was – and still is – Groundwork on Rose Ave. I went there every day before school when I got my license and relished in knowing that my vanilla latte would be ready by the time I got to the counter. The baristas knew that if it was a “cold” (I’ve since learned what cold really means) day I would want it hot and on warm days I would want it iced. The familiarity, warmth and pride I had in supporting a local business made it my one of my favorite places to go.
I have been pleasantly surprised to find several local coffeehouses while in school and I’ve made it a habit of stopping by at least once per school day. My coffee house of choice was Blue State when I lived on campus and it is now Pavement Coffehouse (what used to be Espresso Royale Cafe or ERC which was always confused with the “Educational Resource Center”) since I have moved off campus. I love Pavement for its comfortable (yet competitive) seating, cool artwork, jalapeño cream cheese, always changing playlists and latte foam art. Their vanilla syrup is made in-house and their frequent buyer card gives you $3 off your 11th purchase.
I love the people-watching and recognize the regulars. I catch myself thinking “They’re here every day” and realize, each time, that I only know that because I too am there every day. Fashion is pretty standard; there are the hipsters, the book worms and the gym-sters and I have been all three. I’ve also realized that no matter the style, everyone looks better with a bookcase backdrop. Especially when that bookcase has actual books you can read while sipping on your Spanish latte and savoring your Tequila Sunrise bagel. The downfall of this cafe: 2-hour limit on WiFi. And I really think they could invest in some hooks on the high tops for our coats/purses. Other than those two small suggestions, Pavement will be one of my most-missed places in Boston and will forever hold my memories of early morning deadlines, meet ups with my roommate, afternoon treats, lunches on the go, people watching and late night tea dates.