company - education - coffee

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Taste in Newton, MA

Today, I dropped by my friend Nik's new digs in Newton called Taste. He is taking over a space on Walnut street where it was an existing crepe bar with limited coffee service. Nik is hoping to change the coffee service and is working on upgrades and renovations with an idea of expanding the coffee program to be more progressive. Particularly, an interest in espresso that peaks my curiosity. Of the new additions, Nik scored a nice three group Synesso and is in the beginning stages of building a nice little coffee scene. With a small dedicated staff and continued investment, it looks like it will progress in a good direction.

Having followed Nik for some time (and having an affinity for his grandfather Larry), it's good to see him land in a space where he can start to work out his direction in coffee. I am curious to see how things progress and where he takes his interest. It should be noted, his espresso cup collection is well ahead of expectations.

Something I noticed today while at Taste. We spend so much energy in producing coffee but many of us don't get to see the end product realized. This was part of the realization I had in Guatemala, they had very little perspective of how the product often arrived 'finished' in the cafe. We typically only get to see the customer reaction as a barista and that reaction rarely makes it back through the multitude of people who had a hand in production. I recently have not been behind a counter in a while and I was beginning to lose touch with that relationship and the joy of that exchange. The barista to customer connection made over a product. Sometimes we forget that without that, there is nothing more than a product. Nik has that, a fluid conversationalist, he has an ease in making that connection.

For a good conversation and to see the varying stages of his progression, I recommend a visit or two.