Mini Field Trip

This weekend (meaning Friday–Saturday, since neither my fiancée nor I actually have much of a traditional "weekend"), we took a tiny road-trip to Boston to see the Edward Hopper retrospective exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts (only up until 8/19—shake a tail feather and get out there if you can).

While we were in town, I insisted we stop by what was always one of my favorite coffee shops when I lived in the area: Diesel Cafe.

A very good friend of mine is part of their training staff now, which is another reason we visited. (Though I didn't get any good photos of my friend Drake—or anyone, for that matter!—because everybody was moving around too fast.) Drake's own latte art is beautiful: You can see some here.

Diesel Café, Somerville, MA

In my day, Diesel was a modest-sized hangout staffed almost exclusively by attractive queer girls of whom I was always pretty intimidated. The coffee was dark-roasted across the board, the pool table was the big draw, and I would sit by myself and write long letters to my then-long-distance-girlfriend about all of the people-watching I did sitting by those big industrial front windows.

I also applied for a job there once but never even scored an interview. Ouch! (I'm sort of kidding about the "Ouch.")

It's one of the places I've relished seeing grow, even at a distance: They expanded the coffeeshop by adding a large seating area in the back, and the owners have recently opened a new venture elsewhere in town.

Diesel Café, Somerville, MA

One of the most interesting parts of visiting this place after having not been there in, oh, what, a year? is noticing the ways they've made very specific changes in things like line-flow and staff organization. Management has seemed to make a set of very conscious and very productive decisions about how things are run behind the counter, which is also heartening—so often it can be rather difficult to get an owner or manager to reconsider the ways the fundamentals of a shop are working or not working, mostly because they think they are trapped within their own architecture.

Diesel Café, Somerville, MA

Unfortunately, we hit the place in the midst of their lunch rush (as seen in the photo, there are several people working the line at one time; some dedicated to food, some to coffee and a pair at checkout), and I didn't want to bother anyone with my millions of questions about their coffees and their processes. I'm not aggressive that way; I'm pretty shy!

Small latte, Diesel Café

I did, however, enjoy a really quality latte (the natural sweetness of the milk brought out some great chocolate and nut notes in the espresso, which I'm guessing is a lighter roast? Northern Italian? and according to this, the blend is Bolivian/Brazilian/Mexican) and snag a really sweet T-shirt.

Oh, also? There's a photobooth.

I Love Everything About You

Thanks, kind folks at Diesel! We had a great time.