For the last three weeks that I’ve been here in Boston, I have been on the search for my study cafe, the place I hunker down for four hours at a time sipping the grown-cold drink I ordered. Boston has a lot, and I mean a LOT of great cafes, but none were really speaking my language. Then in the hustle of grad school work loads, I sort of forgot my quest and did homework with my home-brewed coffees and teas.
Well, I had this homework assignment for my science news writing class where I had to interview a fellow student. He suggested we do it over coffee (or tea in his case) and picked a close-by cafe called Espresso Royale on Comm Ave. I said sure, and we set a time and date for it.
When the time came, I saddled my bike and made my way over there this past Monday morning. I parked my bike in front of the store and walked in.
The first thing to hit me was the smell of the place. I felt like I had crawled inside a giant bag of coffee beans, and the aroma was addicting, kind of like when you open a fresh bag of coffee and you start huffing it for a minute. After that, I noticed the cafe’s look, which reminded me of a friend’s outfits: hip and indie, but natural with little touches of personality like the individually painted round tables. The walls were painted warm oranges, and the furniture was mostly darker wood. I smiled and walked to the end of the line.
Which was a long line, I might add. The cafe was always busy, but the cashiers were very friendly and moved the line quickly. I ordered their house coffee, sat down at a square table against the wall, and waited for my friend. I took a sip of my coffee as I people watched.
That initial sip filled my mouth with a full-bodied, smooth taste. It had no bitterness and was almost nutty in its flavor. I was pleasantly surprised at how soft the flavor was, too. It was a medium blend and had that flavor, but almost with a lightness to it. I looked up a little on the particular brew and found that the Espresso Royale house blend was created in 1987 and was designed for drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.
Espresso Royale also got its start back in 1987 in early coffee houses in San Fransisco, Cali. Espresso Royale drew its influences from such places as Café Roma, Caffe Trieste, and the “Med” on University Ave in Berkeley. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the place, the friendly service of the baristas, and the proximity to my college, but what really got me hooked was the coffee. I even bought the totally-out-of-my-grad-school-kid price range bag of coffee and have no regrets every morning I wake up sipping it. I have gone a couple other times and believe my quest has finally ended for the new study cafe.