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Drips & Dregs: Medford, MA

Dawn patrol and coffee. A beer in the cooler at the end of a day outside.

Cut open those who love outdoor adventure and you’ll find they’re fueled by coffee and beer.

Drips & Dregs captures the residual drops from the tap of local fermented beverages and the ground laden slurry from the bottom of the carafe. This is where we’ll inconsistently rate what we’ve tried based on these limited engagements with our favorite beverages.

Visiting New England Part 1: Medford, Massachusetts

I’m sitting in the lobby of a Hyatt in Medford, MA with a splitting headache that I can only attribute to the continuing hangover of taking a red eye to the east coast combined with a set of hotel pillows that remind me of D3O impact protection. You know the orange foam stuff that you find in mountain bike pads that stiffens on impact but is flexible otherwise? That’s these pillows. Pick them up and you think oh man, these are lovely. Rest your head on them and you wonder if they’re made of the same granite that New England is known for.

I’m currently addressing the issue with cup after cup of the complimentary coffee they’re serving here at the Hyatt. Which, by free hotel lobby coffee standards, isn't really that bad. The Homewood Suites in downtown Denver that I stayed at earlier this summer could definitely take some brewing tips from the Medford Hyatt.

Fine as it may be, I don’t want to be drinking this coffee. One of my favorite rituals when traveling is to open up Yelp and do a local search for ‘hipster coffee’. Thus filtering out the local Starbucks, Dutch Bros or Dunkin Donuts and finding the good stuff. The local coffee shops with baristas who give a shit (about the coffee, not the customers) and can make a cortado that will literally cause the socks to pop off of your feet.

When I arrived here at the Hyatt I excitedly indulged in this little ritual of mine and was shocked at the results because…there’s just nothing here.

I’ve never run into this before. The only places to get coffee around here within about 2 miles are donut shops independent and Dunkin. Even the closest Starbucks isn’t within walking distance. And given the gauntlet that is driving Boston metro roads and the dearth of easy parking, I’m not about to hop into my rental car and go looking for a decent cappuccino.

This is totally confusing to me. I used to live in New England and while I wouldn’t rank it among the more enlightened coffee regions of these United States it typically wasn’t lacking in good java places. And of course there are hipster coffee shops around but the space between them is downright vast. I’ve been in small rural towns in the west and never had a longer than 10 minute walk or 5 minute drive to get to good coffee.

And here I sit, in a metro area of more than 4 million people, just 5 miles from the center of downtown Boston drinking whatever brew Sysco delivered to the Hyatt sometime in the past week or two. Credit to the kitchen employees who have made it drinkable (I’m 5 cups deep) but my head and tummy were hoping for a pour over with notes of berries or citrus.

Sorry Medford, you continue to play second fiddle to Somerville.

Dregs Rating:

Medford, MA: 0 out of 4 Mugs


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