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Old 11-10-2017, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,377 posts, read 15,345,763 times
Reputation: 8671

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
I'm gland there are some of us out there who stand on principle!

Tatte and Flour have expanded very quickly and imo have the chain "feel" though it tries to be sophisticated. Tatte I believe is up to 8 locations now, Flour 7. Pavement and nero are both at 6.

I am lucky to live near Cafenation and Fuel America in Brighton for coffee and sandwich needs. Though they aren't "cheap" and aren't incredible, at least $3 coffee isn't a thing.
In fairness, Nero doesn't really belong in this category. It is a major international chain with over 800 locations worldwide. They're on almost every corner in London and in train stations, airports, etc. I would expect them to feel like a chain (though they do a better job than most chains at adapting to their location).

Coffee prices are ridiculous though. I get it due to the cost of rent in Boston and the Boston area, but it's still tough to swallow $3+ for a standard coffee. I'm trying to figure out the cheapest, easiest way to make good coffee to go at home. I really need to start doing that. I have some local shops I support near my apartment (Davis Square area) and my office (North Station area- I highly recommend Cuppacoffee), but they're not cheap either.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,927 posts, read 6,856,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
In fairness, Nero doesn't really belong in this category. It is a major international chain with over 800 locations worldwide. They're on almost every corner in London and in train stations, airports, etc. I would expect them to feel like a chain (though they do a better job than most chains at adapting to their location).

Coffee prices are ridiculous though. I get it due to the cost of rent in Boston and the Boston area, but it's still tough to swallow $3+ for a standard coffee. I'm trying to figure out the cheapest, easiest way to make good coffee to go at home. I really need to start doing that. I have some local shops I support near my apartment (Davis Square area) and my office (North Station area- I highly recommend Cuppacoffee), but they're not cheap either.
I'm just including it as a chain that is becoming more and more popular.

I'll have to try Cuppacoffee, never heard of it so thanks for the tip! Maybe there's been some legislation or something that makes coffee more expensive? I have no idea. But then again if I go to Kiki's in Brighton for a coffee to go, it costs like $1.80. Maybe cafes feel like they can get away with it due to people wanting to stay and work on their laptops?
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:25 AM
 
4,053 posts, read 1,974,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
In fairness, Nero doesn't really belong in this category. It is a major international chain with over 800 locations worldwide. They're on almost every corner in London and in train stations, airports, etc. I would expect them to feel like a chain (though they do a better job than most chains at adapting to their location).

Coffee prices are ridiculous though. I get it due to the cost of rent in Boston and the Boston area, but it's still tough to swallow $3+ for a standard coffee. I'm trying to figure out the cheapest, easiest way to make good coffee to go at home. I really need to start doing that. I have some local shops I support near my apartment (Davis Square area) and my office (North Station area- I highly recommend Cuppacoffee), but they're not cheap either.
Get a popcorn popper (presto works fine); then buy a 5 lbs bag of unroasted Colombian Beans (about $5/lbs). Roasting takes ~5 minutes. Add to your $30 GrindNBrew machine and Presto (pun intended) Coffee is better than almost any roasted beans at the grocery store.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:34 AM
 
599 posts, read 295,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I'm trying to figure out the cheapest, easiest way to make good coffee to go at home.
The combination of a coffee grinder and french press works well for us. The hardware we use follows:The above combined with a good beans and a travel cup (still searching for the perfect one) works well. We splurge on the beans (Stumptown/Barismo). However the end result is a consistently better cup of coffee at a much lower per cup price, not to mention the time saved. You could lower your cost basis by using less expensive beans and still end up with a great cup of coffee.
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:59 AM
 
1,134 posts, read 448,060 times
Reputation: 1365
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
In fairness, Nero doesn't really belong in this category. It is a major international chain with over 800 locations worldwide. They're on almost every corner in London and in train stations, airports, etc. I would expect them to feel like a chain (though they do a better job than most chains at adapting to their location).

Coffee prices are ridiculous though. I get it due to the cost of rent in Boston and the Boston area, but it's still tough to swallow $3+ for a standard coffee. I'm trying to figure out the cheapest, easiest way to make good coffee to go at home. I really need to start doing that. I have some local shops I support near my apartment (Davis Square area) and my office (North Station area- I highly recommend Cuppacoffee), but they're not cheap either.
Have you tried the fresh ground, French press method. I find that makes a pretty good cup for me and takes very little time.

As for travel mugs I have found the Stanley brand to best the best and most cost effective type of thermos. I sometimes see them at Marshall's and Home Goods for around $10
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,502 posts, read 4,377,596 times
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You can also go with a cold brew. It takes almost no effort, but you do need to do it the night before.
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,377 posts, read 15,345,763 times
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^Thanks for the suggestions! I might try french press. I also like the idea of cold brew. It always sounded to complicated for me, but I drink a lot of iced coffee too.

I have a contigo thermos I picked up on sale from Target for $8.50 that's amazing (literally keeps coffee hot all day). i also have a good one with a straw for iced coffee.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,694 posts, read 3,217,173 times
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Au Bon Pain used to be the "it" place to go for upscale overpriced coffee and pastries back in the day (when Boston was much more working class and actually considered ABP "upscale"). Starbucks hadn't invaded yet and Dunkin Donuts was a lowly working class chain that really did focus more on its doughnuts and munchkins than its (at the time) average but affordable coffee. Boy have times changed.

I read an article today and found out the guy who founded Au Bon Pain also founded Panera but Panera later got bought out by a bigger corporation. It seemed that he had bigger and bolder ideas after he founded ABP which really was just his freshman effort. So I see how Panera can overtake ABP . ABP is on the last of its legs. So many former locations have closed and turned into other things that I simply don't see it as competition anymore.
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:24 PM
 
19 posts, read 14,188 times
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I agree that ABP seems to be on the decline, but what about Panera? Panera continues to succeed in the suburbs, but not really in Boston (witness the closure of the Commonwealth Ave. location).

I would imagine that the ABP in South Station would keep its name, although most people seem to stop by just for coffee.

For independent coffee shops, I love Thinking Cup (downtown) and Refuge Cafe (Allston). Thinking Cup serves Stumptown Coffee which is a national brand, but it is delicious!
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:57 PM
 
3,587 posts, read 1,840,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpeskiem View Post
I agree that ABP seems to be on the decline, but what about Panera? Panera continues to succeed in the suburbs, but not really in Boston (witness the closure of the Commonwealth Ave. location)
The issue there was a significant rent increase that Panera couldn't justify considering it wasn't drawing enough business as the crowd was mainly students. One article I read interviewed at least 4 people who were sad it was closing but had never eaten there.
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