Patrick Barter is blunt about cold brew: “It’s not a very nuanced preparation,” says the founder of much-lauded local coffee roaster Gracenote, who teamed up with Coffee Trike owner Alessandro “San” Bellino to open the Gracenote Boston espresso bar this past fall. But the Leather District shop serves nitro cold brew, which has a different taste and richer texture than other cold-brew preparations. “Cold-brewed coffee under nitrogen tastes sweeter and has a slightly ‘oaked’ or vanilla-like character,” he says. “It cascades visually and gives the body some textural interest.” As Gracenote enters its first summer season, Barter gave us a peek into some numbers behind the nitro.
Gracenote Boston, 108 Lincoln St., Boston gracenotecoffee.com
Gracenote isn’t the only downtown coffee shop taking its java seriously these days. Here’s a look at a trio of new and forthcoming spots within less than a mile of each other, which join established neighborhood faves such as Thinking Cup, Barrington Coffee and Jaho. Bring on the coffee crawl!
Render Coffee at 121
Serving coffee with beans roasted by Gracenote as well as Portland’s Tandem, this shop is an outpost of the South End spot that’s been garnering praise for years for its precise pour-over coffee.
121 Devonshire St., Boston (617-401-2421) rendercoffeebar.com
George Howell Coffee
The man behind the pioneering Coffee Connection chain (which birthed the Frappuccino and was bought by Starbucks in the ’90s) will soon open a namesake cafe in the Godfrey Hotel, aiming to educate customers on craft coffee with options such as 4-ounce tasting flights.
505 Washington St., Boston (617-804-2000) georgehowellcoffee.com
This Philly-based chain had already won fans in New York, Chicago and D.C. before putting down roots in Boston. The company is known for its Draft Latte cans and Pure Black bottles, and both products are available on tap at the cafe.
745 Atlantic Ave., Boston (857-317-5340) lacolombe.com