Barrington Coffee Company is coffee shop nestled underground on Newbury St. This Massachusetts-based roaster is known for quality coffee in the Northeast. What intrigued me most about this coffee shop was the Steampunk coffee brewer customers could choose to have their coffee brewed with. The Steampunk is capable of making both coffee and tea and is slightly hypnotizing to watch as it brews. I decided to take the baristas suggestion and try Barrington’s “El Diamante” coffee, from Guatemala with “flower” and “honey” taste notes.
As I watched the Steampunk at work I decided the best way to describe it was like a mix of a coffee siphon and a French press. To begin, the barista adds water to the device and it is heated with steam, causing the water to bubble inside the tube. Then, a French press-resembling filter, or “piston”, is added to the brewer with the coffee added on top of that. Once the coffee is added, water is released from the top of the filter to allow the coffee to bloom. After this step, more water is added, soaking all of the coffee completely, and after a few minutes the steam creates a vacuum that pushes the coffee through the filter which then drains out of the tube into the serving vessel. For more information on the brewing process click here.
The outcome of this brewing process was wonderful. My coffee was bold, yet fruity and had the light body of a pour over, but intensity of a French pressed coffee. I highly recommend trying this brewing method if possible.
I also had the opportunity to check out this coffee shop earlier last winter and tried a latte. I was not a huge fan of the espresso drinks here. The latte did not really have much of an espresso flavor and had a strange aftertaste.
As for the atmosphere of Barrington Coffee Company, it really varies depending on the weather and time of day (typical Boston problem). In the winter, it was dark and rainy out and pretty much empty. The barista was not very friendly either. On the other hand, when I went in the spring, the shop was fill with spots only open outside and the barista was gregarious and wanted my opinion on the coffee. The physical space of the cafe is pretty small and nothing too exciting, but the coffee and location is what makes the customer want to stay at this shop.