What's does "CC" mean?
Location visited: Arlington, MA
Free WiFi ? : no
Rating: 6+ [see key]
Though I've been quite a frequent acquaintance of disappointment, it always hits me anew when I walk up to a coffeehouse only to see it darkened with an unexpected CLOSED sign. Usually it's thanks to a silly holiday or special event but every once in a while it's something more ridiculous like "eh, we just decided to take the week off."
But ah the euphoria of when it's a false alarm and the cafe is only closed because the sole barista had to run a quick errand. Such was the situation I ran into in my visit to Barismo, a small shop and roaster in Arlington that has earned itself strong bragging rights on quality coffee production. The cafe is a tiny, lab-like space with their two drum roasters in the back and their counter in the middle with plenty of space to mill about and sip your coffee (i.e. this is not a place to camp with your laptop but more a place to talk coffee with the barista).
I ordered myself some shots of their Soma Espresso and a cup of their Guatemala Puerta Verde via V60 cone (aka pourover or filtered). The Soma, pulled short with a nice crema, had a nice brightness, notes of jasmine, soft pretzel, chocolate and a medium body (I would say it was spot on for me). The Guatemalan put forth flavors of nougat, chianti, tobacco, vanilla and a tinge of bourbon. I would also say this splendid coffee proved as sweet and balanced as Barismo touts. The tea is their own.
While I can't say that I see similar styles of this kind of cafe popping up much (people sure love their wifi and comfy chairs), I personally would take Barismo over most coffeehouses any day. Make sure to stop in when you are in town.