My best friends Pat and Mike and I were traveling through Boston recently on another one of our adventures. We consider ourselves to be the modern day equivalent to the Lewis and Clark expedition when it comes to wandering around the country, except our expansion intentions are not to find passage to new territory, but to search unknown territories (to us) looking for new bands, clubs, cafes, food and drink, oddities, and cool experiences, connections, and memories to bring home. We have no REAL purpose to our explorations except to have fun, open our minds to new things, and see how others spend the time in their lives.
Something most important to our daily itinerary when wandering is drinking good coffee and sitting in unique cafes that serve it. We like coffee A LOT and usually have multiple cups per day while out and about. Unlike the ancient days of the early 90’s of last century, we no longer need to talk to people on the street to access the information to the most highly recommended locations of great eateries, coffee houses, or anything else one might be seeking for that matter. We did what every other modern day explorer does. We whipped out our iPhones and did a Google search (we found this - www.boston.com) for the nearest selection of cafes and of course, looked at the “Star Rating” when making our decision. We checked with Google, Bing, Yelp, Ask, and many other restaurant finder resources, weighed our options, made a decision, plugged the location into our hand-held GPS, and off we hiked.
Now if you don’t already know or realize this, the plethora of internet search engines recommending something and giving it high star ratings comes from other explorers and local indigenous peoples that, if they take the time to actually do it, plug in their own recommendation to said search engine and application about, let’s say….LOCAL COFFEE HOUSES. Many times the natives will click on a star rating and hopefully give a 1-2 sentence review of the product being served, the Barista serving it, and the setting and atmosphere of the café. So our search, because we were in a big city, yielded dozens of coffee shops in a very dense area. The top 10 recommendations each had 5-Star ratings and all the reviews were similar; they were all GOOD. So of course we decided to pick the #1 café that was labeled “THE BEST” and we got our hopes up. In short, upon arrival and after purchasing our coffee we were a bit disappointed in the #1 rated coffee shop in the village. It wasn’t bad…but for whatever reason or reasons that are not important to this blog post, it did not blow us away. Later that morning we decided to stop at the #3 rated café and to our delight we were much more pleased!
As I and the other blog writers for Booskerdoo have said multiple times in the past, the complete coffee drinking experience, from grinding it, brewing it, prepping it with milk and/or sugar or drinking it black, is all a relative ritual. YOUR coffee is indeed YOUR coffee. If you are a coffee drinker and someone serves you an “OK” cup….your day is not the same. Your day is incomplete; there’s something that now just isn’t right. And I know for a fact if you are reading this then you are a coffee drinker and you are nodding your head in complete agreement. You really cannot get a truly accurate recommendation of where to get an outstanding cup of coffee from an internet restaurant search application. After all, my “hands down” favorite recommended blend may simply be nasty to you. My ultimate coffee shop experience may prove to be a bit lack-luster at best for you. My sun, surf, and sand Reggae preferred café setting may be a little too casual for you to “close the deal” at your Friday afternoon client meeting.
So next time when out in the wilderness searching for that amazing Cup Of Joe or café that serves it, put away the modern day gizmos, compasses, and star charts and get a vibe from someone on the street that seems to be a reflection of the person you are and the mood you’re in and ask them, “Where’s your coffee shop?” Then ask them the quickest and easiest way to get there. They’ll most likely recommend other cool things to see and do along the way, something you would probably miss while your head is down looking at your smartphone screen.