Monthly Archives: March 2012

Baked & Wired

If I could live in one part of DC I’d have to choose Georgetown.  I would live on one of those beautiful tree lined streets in a 200 year-old row house.  I would walk everywhere! To great museums, monuments, shopping, and to Baked & Wired.  On a recent trip to DC to visit Nathaniel and Lyde, we went to Baked & Wired in Georgetown.  We needed a pick me up from all of the shopping Nathaniel was making us do. Eugh.


Taste: 4

Wow was this sweet.  Like crappy Nestle’s chocolate syrup sweet.  Luke warm, couldn’t taste the espresso, so much mocha!  Only in America can you order a small mocha and receive 50 ounces of sugar in return. Eugh. Now, one might assume that a mocha latte and a mocha cupcake might be a good combination.  That is what I thought.  I was wrong, so, so wrong.  I don’t know how the cupcake buying was left up to yours truly.  Yes, I know cupcakes are for dessert, but this was so disgustingly sweet I just couldn’t.  There were people lined up all afternoon ordering 6 cupcakes at one time!  I don’t see what they see… Perhaps the cupcake would be better paired with a seawater latte cappuccino. Eugh.

Appearance: 6

Hello points for originality!  Have you ever seen a mocha latte in this kind of glass?  Looks like a milkshake with a heart blob on top.  I have never sampled a mocha in this fashion, and I have to say I miss the cup and saucer feel.


Store Ambiance: 6

Baked & Wired is a modern, hip place with contemporary couches and dark wood accents. The store is packed with people of all ages craving some serious sugar.  Luckily we avoided the crowds by sitting outside on that beautiful Spring day.  Major points for the local art on display and a big community board with all the going’s on around town.  Points for sourcing their coffee and espresso beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters (yes NYC!).  Points for buying all of their dairy products from a farm in Pennsylvania.  Points for a friendly, trustworthy staff… It is very easy to place an order and not pay at Baked & Wired.  Their store is set up so that you place a coffee order in one room and then pay for it in a completely different room.  Your coffee just magically appears on a shelf and no one is watching you!  I think next time I’ll stick with a regular cappuccino and get my cupcakes at Crumbs.

Local art lines the walls

Order coffees here, then pick them up and pay…

Here! Cupcakes on display by the register

Nathaniel has no sweet tooth.  Boo.


Posted by on March 17, 2012 in DC


New Kid on the Block

Render Coffee is a newbie on the Southie coffee scene but boy has it hit the ground running.  Having just opened during Fall/Winter 2011, Render’s reputation as a hidden gem is getting out.  On a recent trip to Boston, some friends and I headed to 563 Columbus Avenue for some brunch and mocha research.

Taste: 7

“My friend writes a coffee blog”, chimed Teresa as I ordered my mocha for here.  “Make that one look good,” shouted the 30-something, flannel wearing, hipster store owner to his barista. Since every single table was occupied, we (Nick and I) took our coffees to the bar table by the window (the other friends don’t ‘do’ coffee. Eughh). This mocha was bitter, instantly woke me up, and the temperature was perfect.  You almost need to eat something with this mocha to balance out the bitterness, and lucky you, Render has lots of delicious choices to offer (pastries from 3 Little Figs!? Yum).


Appearance: 7

Render baristas take pride in appearances!  The rich espresso color, the detailed latte art, and the sprinkle of dark cocoa around the top make for a beautiful mocha.  I’ve seen this design all over the place, so points lost for originality.   Also, is it just me or does that black cup and saucer do nothing to bring out the prettiness of this mocha?

Store Ambiance: 7

This place is truly a hidden gem.  Good quality coffee from Counter Culture Coffee (same as Tryst in DC).  The staff here seemed knowledgeable of their products and damn proud of them! I like to see passion in people.  You order your drinks and food at the counter, the staff brings your order to your table, and will occasionally walk around to clear your plates and cups.  Nice, attentive, clean! Render has to be one of the most high tech coffee shops I’ve been to in a long time.  It seems like they run the entire shop with an ipad.  The decor is sleek, no fuss, and locally infused with pieces of bizarre art from the Boston community.  There are only about 10 tables and a few chairs by the front of the building.  During the warmer months Render opens up their back patio for additional seating.  One of my favorite things about Render is their focus on shopping locally/bringing the community together.  Render offers a discount card for shopping at a handful of local coffee shops/eateries, offers latte art throw downs, and home brewing courses.  This place is great if you are looking for a sleepy, neighborhood coffee shop with good quality ingredients and a commitment to being a leader in the local coffee community.  Just be prepared to spend upwards of $4.00 for a coffee (pour over method only!).



Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Massachusetts