SoWa Boston. I didn't have any plans, meetings, or commitments for the rest of the evening, so I figured why not go somewhere and get some coffee! Being on our feet all day, my sister figured driving would be best. We were originally going to hit up Flour Bakery in the South End, but I suddenly remembered that there was another cafe up the block from it that I wanted to check out. I always traveled past it but never actually went in. All I remember outside was a simple store sign, two metal round tables and matching chairs. So finally, my next cafe adventure takes me to a place that not only sells a vast array of coffees, but also culturally-influenced tea.
Jaho Coffee & Tea is definitely the most cultural cafe I have been in so far. The interior is definitely influenced by Middle Eastern themes and adorned with Asian flair. Bold red and orange walls, intricately printed fabric on dark, wooden chairs, low tables and a high counter top, it was fit for those eclectic intellectuals. Also, while I was waiting in line to order, couldn't help but notice the typical, Asian cat statue on top of the tea shelf. Judging from the menu, it seemed that the cafe specialized in not only coffees and espressos, but also teas. The founder, Anil Mezini, traveled all across Italy experiencing the joy of the deepest and finest espressos. And after a short pitstop back to his hometown, his journey across Japan, Korea and Thailand opened new doors to the concept of tranquility with a simple cup of tea. After accumulating all of the knowledge from his trips, he founded Jaho Coffee & Tea in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts in 2005. Ever since then, it has become the locals' favorite cafe. Thankfully, he opened one in one of Boston's most relaxing areas. I went with my sister and my friend and we each ordered a different beverage. There are other cafes that offer tea as well, but it was clear that Jaho served their tea with pure authenticity. So instead of coffee, I got tea this time! I ordered a Maple Soy Latte: a sweet drink with a hint of spice for a bite. My friend ordered a Green Tea Matcha Latte: your typical green tea thickened up into a foamy latte with mild sweetness. And my sister ordered their Vietnamese Coffee: coming from Vietnamese people ourselves, it stayed loyal to the motherland's coffee. Our hot drinks came in boldly colored mugs and saucers: mine was dark blue and my friend's was the bright yellow. And for extra brownie points, not only do they do coffee art, but they also do tea art!
What's more important to capture about Jaho is the concept they like to foster. The idea of going into a cafe to order a hot beverage is simple enough in it of itself. But it's more powerful in feeling than anything else. To just sit in a cafe with a hot cup of coffee or tea in your hand in an ambiance naturally made for relaxing. To savor each sip and relish the warmth in your body. Once in a blue moon, people should fully appreciate and enjoy a slower-paced life. What better way to be welcomed? Right when you step into the shop, there's even at mat welcoming you! And to allow you to do the minimal amount of work, the baristas serve your coffee straight to your table. Lots of people like to go to a cafe to relax, to do their work, to socialize because it contains a friendly atmosphere. And after doing so, it leaves a positive impression on the rest of your day. I think all together, this the perfect concept to nurture in a cafe and Jaho definitely does it right.
What do you think is your perfect cafe? Why do you like to go to a cafe on a easy Sunday morning? Share your stories below!