Café Fixe is a little coffee shop (or more accurately espresso bar) in Washington Square neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. I grew up right next to this area and am excstatic to see it develop into a really trendy spot to dine, shop, and relax. Unlike the nearby Athans Café, which is much more of a “come in, sit down, stay a while, how about some Greek coffee? Or a pastry? Or gelato?” vibe, Fixe is a place which when you come in you immediately get the feeling that it was designed for real coffee drinkers.
I had a not very pleasant experience there a few years ago, when I was still kind of a coffee newbie and couldn’t appreciate the refined drinks they served: “what do you mean you don’t have 20 oz lattes with tons of syrup?!? Unacceptable!” However when I went in recently I was just shocked. There, right in front of me, was a Kees van der Westen Mirage espresso machine. My god is it beautiful! I’m used to seeing blocky, ugly, La Spazialle or at the high end La Marzoccos, but this was just stunning. I ordered an espresso and saw so many things right: the variety of Mazzer grinders, the bottomless portfilter, the timer they use. It was one of the very best shots of espresso I’d ever had, all less than 5 minutes walk from my house!
I then decided to go for something I saw them using that I’d never seen before: a Clever Coffee Dripper. I picked an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (I almost always pick the Yirgacheffe if I have a choice) and saw the barista, once again do everything right: heating water, pouring it into a Hario Buono kettle, measuring the temperature, weighing out the coffee on a scale, using a timer while it was steeping. He actually poured himself a little of the coffee to taste it to make sure it was right! Astonishing!
My girlfriend got a chai latte (since she can’t really handle caffeine) and, although she spilled the first once all over the counter and floor (hilarious) the second one was excellent.
Conclusion: if you’re in the Boston area, get over to Café Fixe right now. I cannot wait to come to Boston so that I can try everything on the menu.