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Coffee Shop Review - Diesel Café

October 17, 2011

Diesel Café is a fun and funky coffee shop in Davis Square in Somerville. Like a lot of Boston area coffee shops there is some expectation  that a café will be “trendy” and “unique” because Bostonians just don’t have any kind of real coffee culture, and as a result going to a coffee shop is seen as kind of a trendy thing to do. When you’re used to running into a Dunkin Donuts and being out of there in 2-3 minutes with a cup of oversweet over-creamy coffee going someplace to sit and spend hours reading or working is kind of alien.

Diesel is a welcoming space, it feels funky but not in the kind of way where uncool people (like myself) feel uncomfortable. There is lots of art on the walls, bicycles and bike gear too, some vintage typewriters to play with, lots of cushy couches and chairs to sit on, and even a pool table to kill time. To round out their hipster cred, Diesel even has a black and white photobooth!

One thing I really like is that to build a community they have their own wannabe Craigslist style community website, where you can talk to other people in the café, put things up for sale, look for roommates, etc. It really is a nice touch, and its surprisingly active because you go through that portal when you log onto their Wi-Fi.

They have lots of tasty food options and I found them vegetarian friendly. Most important however, obviously, is the coffee. They have lots of interesting and unique drinks, mostly ones that feature lots and lots of espresso (4 shots in your latte? Sure!). They use a La Marzocco machine and I forget what kind of grinder. My personal favorite drink is an amazing almond latte called (I think) a kickstart; Its just spectacularly good.

Not everything is great though: I hate their straight espresso shots. I don’t know what it is that they are doing wrong, but they really need to dial in their process. Get the grind right, change the brew temp, change the dose, I don’t care, it needs to get fixed. I’ve tried the espresso there at least six times and each time it’s sour, acidic, just…bad. I also don’t get why it takes them so long to make a drink! I swear, its 2-3 times the wait of any other café. Maybe its because they have to pull multiple shots for each person because of the funky drinks? If that’s the case, they need to up their staff. It is not ok for me to wait ten minutes for a crappy espresso!

So in conclusion, if you find yourself in trendy Davis Square you should check this place out. Highly recommended, unless you only drink espresso or are in any kind of hurry.






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