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Coffee & Tea 15

Ogawa Coffee

wu12 | May 24, 2015 06:30 PM

Checked out Ogawa Coffee today. Was interested in the Japanese take on high end coffee. Got the signature, which was actually two espresso-based drinks -- a cappuccino with a willow and cherry blossom design on it (iconic Japanese images) and a cold frothed espresso. Both were good; the cold espresso notably fruity. Have to say I was a little amused that after seeing so many photos online of the signature cappuccino with many pink cherry petals on it, mine came with just one lonely petal.

Also got the house coffee that came with the breakfast set. Well-made cup of coffee, but not necessarily better than any other well-made cup of coffee. Our kid had hot chocolate, which was actually very good -- very chocolatey, a medium-richness (not as thick as Burdick's but definitely thicker than the average hot cocoa).

Food was OK, but I wouldn't come for the food. Salads (which come with the quiche and breakfast set) were fresh, but the toast that came with the breakfast set was little stale (too bad considering how fluffy and decadent shoku-pan can be!). Quiche was average -- had chunks of potatoes in it, which may or may not be to your taste. The roast beef tartine was decent, the accompanying potatoes well-seasoned but not crisped before serving. Chocolate terrine like flourless chocolate cake, good but rich. Sundae was amusing with (unsweetened) coffee jelly, corn flakes, chocolate shavings, whipped cream, and a wedge of the aforementioned terrine, all on 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. The 2nd scoop got pretty melted by the I got to it.

I was a little surprised that, considering it's a Japanese place, the tables, counter, serving trays, and even bathroom weren't super clean. The tables and counters were the worst, we wiped down our own table before putting our stuff on it. My serving tray for the signature drink had some stuck-on dirt, and the bathroom floor was wet all around the sink -- somewhat more minor. They were continuously busy but didn't have a wait for tables or anything when I went. I think they just didn't have a person who was free to just wipe down things. Maybe normal for an American place, but I was just a little surprised for a Japanese place.

The space is very nice, high ceilings, tall windows, and nice lighting. The 'stadium' seating is cute, but the black boxes that were meant to be used as side tables were again somewhat dirty (I wonder if people step on them by accident?), and the people who were actually seated at the bar blocked the view of the baristas for the people sitting on the risers, so I'm not sure the risers serve their purpose.

All in all I would go back to try other drinks, and I think it's a fun and solid addition to the Boston coffee scene. Just not blow-my-mind coffee as some of the hype might have me expect.

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