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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, May 25, 2024

Caffeinated Commentary: Nine Bar Espresso

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Nine Bar Espresso on Holland Street is pictured in March 2023.

I’ve been intrigued by Nine Bar Espresso for a while now because there is always a line on the street, even though it’s just a walk-up window; so, I figured the coffee must be extraordinary. According to the employee I asked, there used to be an indoor eating area open to customers, but it’s been closed off since COVID-19. This is unfortunate because based on what I could see through the window, the inside seating area is super cozy and aesthetic, with cute stools! The employee assured me that the indoor seating was opening “very soon.” 

Though the whole operation is currently outside, I’ve seen a considerable line even on a sub-20 degree day and in rainy weather. Every time I walk past the line on the street I think, “what’s the hype?” And this week, I finally tried their coffee. In case you miss the crowd lined up on the street, Nine Bar can be found at 11 Holland St. in Davis Square. This is definitely a “grab and go on your way to work” stop, and most of the customers in line the day I went consisted of local residents (as far as I could tell).

Now I understand why there’s always a line — the coffee is incredible! It receives a strong 9/10 from me, and the prices are pretty reasonable for this area. I paid $6.75 for a medium iced vanilla latte with oat milk (my go-to order), and it was very worth the price! I will definitely be coming back. A friend who goes there often said, “it’s probably the best coffee I’ve had in Davis [Square].” There isn’t a bitter taste and the vanilla was just the right amount — not too sweet.

I’m more of a coffee person than a matcha person, but I tried a sip of my friend’s matcha latte from Nine Bar Espresso and it was easily the best matcha I’ve tried since coming to Tufts. It wasn’t too sweet, nor too earthy, as some matcha lattes tend to be. I rate the matcha latte a 9/10. Another friend I spoke with agreed, saying, “Oh my god, it was delicious. I would give it a 9/10!” To all the matcha people out there, this is your new spot for a delicious matcha latte. The matcha latte was $5.25 with oat milk, which also seemed like a reasonable price to me. 

The pastries get a shoutout, too, because I tried the lemon danish and it was AMAZING. A 10/10 from me. I’m eager to try the rest of their baked goods, which include various croissants, scones and muffins. 

Nine Bar Espresso is at a disadvantage when it comes to my ranking because there’s no physical environment to review. A large part of my decision in rating coffee shops is the overall vibe and the ability for me to hang out or study there. There’s no space like this at Nine Bar currently, so it’s automatically going to receive a bit of a lower score from me. However, I still give it an 8.5/10 because the drinks and pastries are fantastic.

I’m really excited to see how the indoor experience will be! From what I can tell, this will be a great study spot once it’s open again. Perhaps it will bump my ranking up to a 9/10 or even a 9.5/10, which would be the highest ranking I’ve given a coffee shop so far. 

P.S. To all the dog owners, Nine Bar Espresso employees hand out dog treats for free! The dogs rate this place a 10/10 too.