My husband and I moved last year for a number of reasons:  to downsize, see more people, and get closer to Boston. One of my goals is to get into the city more often because I find it an inspiring place to be when I’m writing and hanging out. So I’m going to work the coffee shop circuit each time I get into Boston, maybe even two per trip. Here’s how Day One went………

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So today my first stop was  Render Coffee on Columbus Ave in the South End. What a great little boutique coffee spot! The wonderful smells of food and coffee hit me as soon as I walked in the door. Although I didn’t eat, the food choices looked fresh and D-lish. The gentleman behind the counter was pleasant and accommodating. I mostly drink tea, and often end up in places that either don’t know how to make a decent cup of tea, or aren’t willing to learn. But I got a great cup of loose leaf tea at Render.  I’m presently sticking to one cup of caffeine a day, so my expectations of that cup are pretty high . There was a glass-enclosed room towards the back with sturdy granite-topped tables that was warm, despite all the glass, so I snagged a good size table for writing on my laptop. The Wifi worked fabulously and I was able to focus and get some work done.

Being in a neighborhood rather than a high-traffic, touristy area is the big benefit of this location. It’s also a decent distance from the train so there isn’t a crowd rushing in every time a train arrives, yet there’s a steady flow of business.

I left Render, and walked to Newbury Street. I randomly found this great little place called Patisserie. Yum, yum, yum is what I am telling you. I had half of a sandwich that was on THE best French bread I’ve ever had. Nice and crispy on the outside, but not so much so that I scratched the roof of my mouth. And I had a cup of Spanish black bean and lentil soup that they kindly let me taste first so I could see if it was too spicy. Overall a city lunch bargain at $10.

From there I moved on to Jaho Coffee and Wine Bar on Huntington Avenue near Copley Place. The vibe there is definitely hip and trendy, and at this point in my life which I lovingly refer to as “the back 9,” I take hip and trendy when I can get it. But there’s usually a trade-off.  It’s a large space with lots of seating and high ceilings. There’s an entrance into Jaho from the lobby of an office building which added to foot traffic. I’m not against having a lot of people around me, but this is a place where you have to know yourself and whether you can put your headphones in, your head down, and focus. But if you are easily distracted by shiny, glittery things, this might not be a place for you to get any work done.  I ordered the Spanish latte, which I saw recommended online, and I can see why. Not only was it awesome, I could get a decaf version, which is great for my “one cup of caff a day” plan. Since I had clearly walked a few miles, I treated myself to a biscotti that was crunchy and great for dipping.

So that’s it for my first edition of the Coffee Shop Chronicles. When you find yourself in Boston, give one of these great places a try and let me know what you thought!

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