Taste Coffee House — It’s SO Worth a Sip (and the trip)


A few months ago, on one of my many, weekly trips to Russo’s Market in Watertown, I passed by a coffee shop that caught my eye. I had passed up Starbucks and was feeling the need for some caffeine… and it was a rare day that The Husband had played hookie and we were actually out together during the week — so we decided to try the unknown coffee shop for some cappuccino’s and a bite to eat.

Taste Coffee House is located at 311 Walnut Street in Newtonville. There is plenty of parking on the street, but if it’s crowded, there is also a lot just around the corner.

When we walked in, the first thing I noticed was the fun decor, the funky atmosphere and the cool sign on the left wall…

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On the right wall is a hand-written menu (I love that). The place was pretty crowded for a mid-morning weekday, making it clear that this was a local favorite.

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As I looked around, I felt pretty confident that we were going to like this place… and we were NOT disappointed. The menu looked good, the food smelled delicious, the staff was knowledgeable and super friendly and the focus of the food and drinks is on local and environmentally conscious products.

According to their website:

We strive to be a community-oriented cafe, where every customer is valued and appreciated. An ongoing goal of ours is to use local and environmentally conscious food. Our breads are pastries come from Iggy’s in West Cambridge. Our crepes, paninis and salads are homemade, using only the best and freshest ingredients.

We take great pride in our coffee and our roasters, George Howell and Barismo. Based in Acton Massachusetts, George Howell s well known in the community as the founder of Coffee Connection. Based in Arlington, Massachusetts, Barismo is a new boutique roaster with a passionate staff. Together, we are committed to offering only the highest-quality coffee.

We offer artisan espresso beverages, made to order using our top of the line Synesso espresso machine.

As we stood at the register, trying to decide what to get, I saw that the barista‘s were doing latte art on every single cup of coffee that was made… even the to go cups! What is latte art you ask? Well just take a look… this was my (medium) Cappuccino ($3.50) and the following was The Husband’s (medium) Vanilla Latte ($4.25).

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These drinks are a little pricier than say Starbucks, but let me tell you… it’s the BEST cappuccino I’ve had since my honeymoon in Italy. The espresso that they use is superb.

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These are amazing, aren’t they? As we sat at the coffee bar and chatted with the staff, we learned that the owner of Taste — Nikolas Krankl is an award-winning barista and latte artist. Our server assured us that if Nik had done our drinks, they would have been even MORE fabulous! On a side note — we’ve been back to Taste several times since this first visit and have had the pleasure of being served by Nik (though I haven’t introduced myself yet). Let’s just say this boy is talented.

In addition to the latte art, Taste is also famous for their homemade crepes. As you sit at the coffee bar, you can watch a member of the staff make your crepe in front of you. I opted for the Basic Crepe ($3). First, they pour the batter onto the (already hot) crepe grill and use a T-shaped tool to spread the batter around:

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The “T” is dragged along the surface of the grill until the batter completely covers the entire thing:

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When ready, the crepe is carefully flipped using a long, thin spatula:

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As it finishes, butter is spread on the crepe and then a combination of sugar and cinnamon is sprinkled on:

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The crepe is removed from the grill, folded into quarters and sprinkled one more time… this time with powdered sugar. The crepe was absolutely delicious!

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Our wonderful chef that day… who graciously allowed me to photo her.

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The menu contains many items in addition to the famous crepes and other breakfast treats… such as a delicious assortment of salads, sandwiches and paninis. On one visit, I had The Caprese — Buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes accented with homemade tomato pesto and grilled on a baguette ($7). As you can see by the photo’s below, it was oozing with delicious cheese and pesto and was served on a perfectly-crisped bread.

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Just look at that cheese!

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Each and every time we got to taste, we are not disappointed. In fact, it has quickly become one of our all-time favorite breakfast/lunch places. There are even games and crayons for the kiddo’s (and the young at heart) to keep occupied.

I honestly cannot recommend this place enough. Be warned though, that because it is so good… scoring a table on a weekend morning can prove quite challenging. That said, now that it’s nicer out, you can always grab something to go and sit on the bench that’s around the corner. If you live any where near this place and have not been yet… GO. We make the trek because it’s that good.

Taste on Urbanspoon

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