Chris Carrick took me on a tour of his favorite Boston coffeeshops today in an attempt to persuade me that coffee does not suck. I went and researched the effects of caffeine beforehand and estimate that I have had somewhere between 500-600 mg of caffeine in the span of 2 hours today; despite hydrating and eating before the journey and afterwards to try and slow the absorption-into-bloodstream, I'm still as jittery as hell, but probably not as much as if I hadn't done that. The trip was timed so any effects would wear off in a few hours, long before sleep-time. Drinking lots of water now as well to forestall (or at least slow) any headache-potential.

Round 1: Taste (Newton)

  • expresso ("wow, it... doesn't suck!")
  • cappuccino ("fern!")

Round 2: Barismo (Arlington)

  • expresso (much brighter and sweeter than the first, regaled with tales of coffee travels, roasting, etc. as it brewed; they roast their own beans here and hacked their roasters to give them even more control)
  • drip coffee (the taste changes as the temperature does - fascinating)

They did not have this today, but according to Chris, the best coffee in the shop is any of their Kenyan roasts, syphon-brewed.

Round 3: Simon's (Cambridge)

  • cappuccino (nom!)
  • mexican hot chocolate (spicy!)

It was great! I learned about the different things that affect the flavor of coffee, the physics of how the funny-looking machines of various types worked. I can certainly see why people would enjoy the taste of coffee.

I am, however, still a tea person.