The Bean Was Back in Beantown…
I couldn’t wait to share my latest obsession with the mm/c crew: Natural Bean. A scrumptiously organic coffee shop between Fairfield and Gloucester it was, in my opinion, the best thing to happen to good old Newbury since $5 tapas at Tapeo. As the self-appointed publicist for the quaint, basement cafe, I took it upon myself to re-direct the all-too-loyal mm/c Starbucks-goers just a smidge farther up the block to 250 Newbury when craving some java.
Yes, my ramblings beg the question: why Natural Bean? Why take an extra three minutes out of your all-too-precious, perfectly calculated lunch recess over the river and through the woods to Newbury when Starbucks on Boylston is more convenient? First of all, Natural Bean distilled all their water on-site in an enormous – yet aesthetically pleasing – metal vat. This ensured freshness and consistency in brewing and made N.B. the most unique, eco-friendly java house I’d ever seen. The coffee itself was rich, fragrant, and earthy, not to mention reasonably priced (about $3.00 for a medium). I’d have recommended the iced cappuccino with caramel syrup – don’t hold the foam! To top it off, snag a pastry (I adored the macaroons – also organic, of course).
Natural Bean’s mission was simply stated: Fresh-as-it-gets coffee, tasty treats, all organic. In a world where deciding what caffeinated beverage to order can be as overwhelming as deciding on your 401k plan or simply impossible for those of us who aren’t bilingual in English and Italian, I can’t express(o) how grateful I was for a place where coffee was just that…COFFEE! American roast, light roast, dark roast, espresso, cappuccino, latte. Add some flavor syrup if you please: caramel, vanilla, mocha, hazelnut. Wham, bam, there you had it. The simplicity of Natural Bean’s goal was as refreshing as their grinds. Add free wi-fi and al fresco seating, and it just didn’t get any better.
Unfortunately, this is where the upbeat portion of my blog post ends — and the reason for the use of the past tense, above, finally makes sense. Until last Thursday, Natural Bean was as lovely and organic as ever. That morning, however — a universally tragic day on many accounts — I was en route to my favorite java stake-out and there before me loomed an enormous “FOR LEASE” sign on 250 Newbury’s door. And that was the end of Natural Bean. I don’t know how, why, and when this all transpired, but I was devastated. The tragedy was first of three that day, and while MJ’s death put up a good fight (Farrah’s not so much), the termination of Natural Bean affected me more deeply than I ever could have anticipated. So there I stood, crestfallen, forcing my feet to turn in the direction of Starbucks, cursing The Man all the while. As I sat at my desk painstakingly taking mouthfuls of my mouthful-of-a-coffee-to-pronounce caramel macchiato from Starbucks, I wondered why the good things in life never last. RIP Michael. RIP Farah. RIP Natural Bean.
Posted by Liza