barismo is a coffee roaster & retailer founded in 2008. We began out of a group of baristas who met together to taste coffees, experiment, and roast. Beginning in 2006 we set out blogging and recording our experiences. In that phase of creativity, we dreamed up coffee bar ideas for service geared at striving for better quality and improved taste (even at the expense of speed).
We focused on defining our quality experiences through an analytical process determined to end up with something we could systematically implement. One thing was clearly missing at the time, a local (Boston metro) roaster that would provide transparency, barista support, and meet the quality for our coffee bar concept. By 2008, we modified our ideas to build a coffee bar. Thinking it might be a good opportunity to step back and be the ones roasting and providing services for other people's coffee bars and fill that gap first. We set up a pair of highly customized four kilo roasters in a storefront barely bigger than your average living room in East Arlington, MA (Jan 2008).
Our first year involved traveling and making the first direct purchases of coffees from farms as a company. Most of our budget went to coffee, betting heavy on the future of buying direct in a way that many new roasters, even today, hesitate to do. We didn't stop there as we arranged novel storage methods (vacuum sealing or Grainpro bag liners) to protect these coffees. Many peer roasters thought we were crazy, doing things that were unheard of back then. Having taken our time and done experiments beforehand, we knew what much of the industry would later find out, unprotected coffee in jute bags is bad for quality.
We took that same driving approach outward as it became apparent that though we were cutting edge as a roasting operation, our community needed to move forward for us to have long term viability as a business. We organized the first barista jam (AKA throwdown) in the Boston area in 2009 (at a cafe in Newton, MA), organized the Northeast Regional to be in Somerville (2010), and followed with a lot of community activity sponsoring and participating in events geared at the barista community over the years. Having hosted several dozen Barista jams/throwdowns and particpated in many panels/speaking engagements, and competitions (as judges/competitors/volunteers) doing everything we could to lift the community along with us.
Within a few years, the Arlington location would became an outpost for people looking to find freshly roasted coffees and it expanded to feature a small coffee bar. It began as a way of teaching what we learned in a format that you could take home and repeat that great coffee experience. Brewing up rotating manual methods (pour overs, syphons, etc) and a basic classic espresso service, this tiny little bar garnered a lot of attention.
With Arlington flourishing and strong wholesale partnerships in the metro, we refocused in 2012 on an area we had originally wanted to open a cafe in, Broadway Mid Cambridge. Spring of that year, we opened dwelltime (now barismo 364) in the Hubley auction house. A huge remodel of a building in disuse, in a neighborhood that did not have much retail, this became our biggest project yet. Establishing a full kitchen/bakery in this neighborhood was essential to it becoming our flagship location. The space has garnered national attention and awards, making best of lists for Eater, Timeout, and Boston Globe Magazine (2015) to name a few.
Our goal will continue to be transparent sourcing, roasting & brewing with attention to detail so that we can present consistently exceptional coffees. In order to fulfill that goal, we work to improve & master every step of the production chain: building long-term relationships with innovative coffee producers, bringing a deep understanding of our coffees to the roasting process, and pioneering the future of coffee brewing.
Want to learn more about what we do? We've included full sourcing reports for every coffee online. Visit our retail locations, or shoot us an email. We're excited to keep bringing you the coffee of tomorrow.