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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Caffeinated Commentary: The ultimate guide to coffee shops near Tufts

I’ve always loved coffee shops. The atmosphere, the cute aesthetics and (obviously) the coffee. This semester, I’ve leaned into my love of coffee shops and set out to explore a new coffee shop near Tufts every week. I’ve looked forward to my coffee shop adventure each week! Now, as the semester comes to a close, I’ve compiled all my reviews to conclude my column. This is not a comprehensive review but rather a summary of the reviews I’ve written this semester for my “Caffeinated Commentary” column. My columns on each coffee shop are linked in the coffee rating column below, so you can check out my in-depth review of each place. I hope you enjoy reading about the coffee shops in the area! Also, I rated one shop when I was in Michigan, so Vertex is sometimes included in these lists but not in others.

This semester, I’ve visited several coffee shops with fun, unique elements, including Vertex’s “Random Act of Coffee,” where you can pay for someone’s future coffee or use one of the coupons to pay for yours, Simon’s Coffee Shop’s post-it note wall and Nine Bar Espresso’s collection of free dog treats. 

If someone was visiting Tufts and asked me for a recommendation of a coffee shop — which has happened — I would point them in the direction of Nine Bar Espresso for a coffee to grab and walk around with, Diesel for sitting down and ordering food or Tamper if they’re closer to the north side of campus. 

Now, for the rankings…

Best coffee:

  1. Nine Bar Espresso
  2. 1369 Coffee House
  3. Mr. Crêpe
  4. Revival
  5. The Sink (I gave The Sink’s coffee a high rating in my original review, but I’ve come to realize that it really depends on the day and on who’s making the coffee.)
  6. Diesel (They had a higher ranking before, but recently the coffees haven’t been great.)
  7. Simon’s Coffee Shop
  8. Vertex (in Ann Arbor)
  9. Tamper

Best vibes:

  1. Tamper
  2. Vertex (in Ann Arbor)
  3. Diesel
  4. Revival
  5. 1369 Coffee House
  6. The Sink
  7. Simon’s Coffee Shop
  8. Mr. Crêpe
  9. Nine Bar Espresso (They are rated the lowest because they have to-go orders only and no indoor seating at the moment, but that should be coming soon, and I can’t wait to see what it will look like!)

Overall rating (with some new notes that I’ve realized since rating them earlier this semester):

  1. 1369 Coffee House: 9/10, lived up to the hype
  2. Nine Bar Espresso: 8.5/10, only downsides are that there’s no actual coffee shop, and it’s $6.49 for a medium iced vanilla latte with oat milk … which is a little too expensive for a coffee, even a really good one
  3. Diesel: 8/10, but the coffee really isn’t that good, honestly!
  4. Revival: 8/10, exceeded my expectations but there’s a ‘no laptop’ policy on weekends that makes it hard to study
  5. The Sink: 8/10, because the drinks are really ‘hit or miss’ depending on the day
  6. Tamper: 7/10, I do like that they’re open much later now!
  7. Simon’s Coffee Shop: 7/10, so cozy but I’m not a fan of the music
  8. Mr. Crêpe: 6.5/10

Best place to study (if you can find seating … ):

  1. The Sink
  2. Tamper
  3. Diesel
  4. Revival
  5. Simon’s Coffee Shop
  6. 1369 Coffee House (would be higher, but it was very loud when I went)
  7. Mr. Crêpe (the inside is just not that cute!)

N/A: Nine Bar Espresso

Likelihood of finding seating/least to most crowded:

  1. Simon’s Coffee Shop
  2. 1369 Coffee House
  3. Mr. Crêpe
  4. Diesel
  5. Tamper/The Sink
  6. Revival

N/A: Nine Bar Espresso

Best thing to order at each place:

  • Tamper: chocolate chip cookie or breakfast quesadilla
  • Vertex (in Ann Arbor): hot matcha latte
  • Diesel: lox bagel sandwich (best bagel types: everything or jalapeno cheddar), chocolate croissant or chai latte
  • Revival: iced vanilla latte or scone
  • 1369 Coffee House: iced latte
  • The Sink: iced latte or iced matcha (the chai is good, too, if you usually like sweeter chais!)
  • Simon’s Coffee Shop: hot latte or hot chai latte
  • Mr. Crêpe: chocolate strawberry crepe with whipped cream, iced latte 
  • Nine Bar Espresso: iced vanilla latte with oat milk (my go-to order pretty much everywhere, but it’s especially good here)

Surprise bonus review(!!!): Let’s talk about Yego Coffee in Teele Square! I’m biased when it comes to Yego because I work there. I have to say it’s been an absolute joy learning to be a barista! I’ve always loved coffee (if you couldn’t tell by this column), and Yego is easily my favorite coffee near Tufts. Even if I didn’t work there, I would go all the time because it has the best coffee and matcha, the prices are super reasonable and the vibes inside are amazing (a clean, aesthetic look, as pictured below)! Yego has gotten a lot of attention in the news recently, including from Eater Boston, NBC Boston and The Somerville Times. The Rwandan couple (François and Fatuma) who own and operate Yego are so kind and sweet. François’ family has been growing coffee beans in Rwanda for three generations. Plus they bake all their pastries in-house! I highly recommend the spinach croissant or cherry Danish. Come stop by Yego this summer, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you to everyone who followed along on my coffee shop journey this semester! I’m feeling excited to explore even more coffee shops, happy to be working as a barista and — as always — very caffeinated.


The interior of Yego Coffee is pictured. (Natalie Bricker/ The Tufts Daily)