Sunday, January 06, 2008

CC: Esselon Cafe

What's a Coffee Commentary?

Esselon Cafe
Location visited: Hadley, MA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]

ay-long conferences without a drop of decent coffee is a bit of a trial, but very worth it when you stumble across a local gem on the way home.

Traveling west from U Mass Amherst, my fellow colleagues and I had a long road ahead of us and as I was behind the wheel, I was aching for a decent cup of coffee. I noticed a place on our way in that looked like it served coffee (had a coffee cup on the sign) but also noticed that it said "now serving breakfast." The sign as well as the the title "cafe" made me wonder whether it was a legit coffeehouse or one of the many eateries labeled cafe that gives the impression that they serve good coffee, only to shatter my hopes the second I see the old coffee sitting on a hot plate next to the deep fryer.

Fortunately, Esselon Cafe was not an awaiting disappointment. Walking up to the red awnings of the stand-alone building, I could see the expected coffee menu. The inside was spacious and pleasantly arranged, with both inside and outside seating.

Moving on to the coffee, it's all roasted in-house and displays a nice variety. The java sampled held a beautiful body and splendid flavor. Similarly, the espresso was pulled decently by a very congenial barista and tasted bright and lucious. The tea was Oishi.

As mentioned above, the stop at Esselon definitely made my drive home a whole lot sweeter. If you frequent nearby U Mass or happen to be in the area, I would definitely make a recommendation to stop in for a good cup of coffee.


swapnaaaaah said...

Did you know that over 20 coffee-exporting countries, including Ethiopia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Laos, are plagued with landmines from past and current armed conflicts?

In Africa alone, there are an estimated 40 million landmines. Tragically, areas with the heaviest concentrations of landmine use and the best coffee producing regions frequently overlap. One of the best places to grow high quality coffee is in the mountains, the same areas that in times of war are strategically significant as borders between territories, or as strongholds for opposing forces. In Latin America, Asia, and Africa, coffee farmers who are trying to make a earnest living fall victim to accidental explosions and triggered landmines that lay buried in the land they cultivate for farming. Explosions can kill multiple people and often times, survivors are left with amputated arms or legs.

Whether we are coffee enthusiasts, coffee sellers, or casual coffee drinkers, we should care about this important problem.

The Coffeelands Landmine Victims Trust generates funds to assist landmine victims to use in three ways. 1) The trust lends micro-grants that allow victims to start new businesses, restore old businesses, etc. 2) The trust provides mobility aids, like wheelchairs, to victims so they can return to some form of normalcy and become active again. 3) The trust provides emergency services, like surgical needs, which are imperative for victims.

To find out more and get involved yourself, visit

Unknown said...

I am a coffee lover. Unfortunately, due to health issues, I am unable to drink that much. This meant that I had to resort to drinking decaf, which I hate. I recently fell in love with a coffee that offers health benefits and the coffee tastes great.

I like you blog by the way.

Thank you for letting me share...