The latest from David (and Linus)...
No, Wired Puppy is not a boutique dog store. It's actually a great place to grab coffee from some knowledgeable folks. They've also got a great outdoor patio on Newbury Street.
Upon entering the sub-street level cafe, I passed all the goodies before getting to the counter: t-shirts, a wide selection of tasty energy bars, cookies (including 3 kinds of gluten-free, almond flour cookies by Gloria's: pistachio, blood orange, and rose (rose!) cookies), some more fresh baked cookies, and what looks like 15 different kinds of prepackaged oatmeal varieties from Umpqua Oatmeal. And, perhaps as a nod to the cafe's name, some orange dog leashes and dog collars.
The rest of the fresh-baked goods selection looked slim, but I overheard one barista explain that they had a busy Sunday afternoon, and he assured the patron that, at one point, they had a full case of muffins. By the time I got there, I saw the following: a Portuguese bolo muffin, a "Scone of the Day," chocolate chip muffin, and a honey corn muffin. I went for the honey corn muffin.
The interior of the cafe had the kind of cool, bare aesthetic that many javaheads appreciate: almost exclusively brick walls, along with some brick archways over the cash register and the espresso machines. There's plenty of seating inside, and free wi-fi as well. Oh -- and the coffee's pretty great, too.
The iced latte I had was a bit heavy on the coffee taste, which might have taken away a little bit from what could otherwise have been a pretty creamy beverage; so, for the minor imbalance, I have to dock a point. But it was still delicious, and had a little layer of frothiness on the top. It went well with my honey corn muffin.
The staff told me that the espresso -- called "Best in Show" -- comes from some roaster in Wareham, Massachusetts; but I couldn't discover much else about where, geographically, it came from. There was a large selection of drip coffee the day I went: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Costa Rican, Colombian, Sumatran, and some proprietary blends. But the really cool thing is that you can pick one of four ways to brew your coffee: French press, aeropress, siphon, or pour-over. The siphon method is awesome, and a friendly barista was kind enough to take a few minutes to explain it to me. You can read about it here. He recommended trying it with their Bitches Brew blend: a very dark roast with "high nutty notes and a smokey finish." The idea behind the method is to bring out deeper flavors that you otherwise wouldn't taste.
A great, environmentally conscious final touch: compostable cold cups and lids. Wired Puppy both composts and recycles. Very progressive.
Coffee Quality: 4/5
Food Quality: 4/5
Outdoor Ambiance: 4/5
Indoor Ambiance: 4/5
Staff Friendliness: 5/5
Staff Knowledge: 5/5