Pavement Coffeehouse

Overall Rating: 8.200

Address: 1096 Boylston St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Massachusetts Ave. & Hemenway St.
City, State ZIP: Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617.236.1500
Hours: M-F 7am-10pm; Sa-Su 8am-10pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.50
Barista: 9
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.90
Aroma: 6
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 9
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Turpeny
Coffee Beans: Counter Culture Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Le Porcellane d'ANCAP
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 04/13/2013
First Reviewed: 04/13/2013
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

This coffeehouse is highly decorated by the local media (e.g., Boston Magazine's Best Coffee Shop 2012), and you can see why. It's a vibrant spot that serves some good coffee. Although a coffeeshop, they do a lot of business in meals (lunches, etc.) -- making it more of a café. There's patio seating along Boylston St. in front, three window counter seats along the entrance, exposed masonry painted white in back with silver, upholstered booths around many smaller tables. They prominently display their use of Counter Culture Coffee and also sell their beans, although they do offer a "featured espresso" for $3 (then it was Anyetsu from Colorado's Novo). Using a three-group La Marzocco GB/5 and Rustico from Counter Culture, they pull shots with a highly textured medium-to-darker-brown crema. For its looks, it has a surprisingly lighter body. But with a nice, balanced flavor of cinnamon, cardamom, and a light sweetness and no real smokiness. The flavor profile is very expressive in the midrange, but rather absent at either end of the flavor spectrum. All-in-all a great cup, but perhaps not the best in town as advertised. The busy vibe here is often too busy, making the environment a little more frenetic than entirely enjoyable: we just wanted to grab our shot, drink it, and leave.