Since I’m going to be back in Providence later on this week, I thought I really ought to publish the last of the places I visited during my trip to Providence last summer. Dave’s Coffee roasts all its own coffee, which it sells throughout Rhode Island and beyond, as well as serving in its two cafes. My friend Allison, who was responsible for inviting me down to Providence in the first place, took me to visit Dave’s on Main Street, Providence, which was the first stop on a mini-tour which included the venerable Coffee Exchange and The Shop.
Dave’s roasts a signature espresso blend, the interestingly-name “Blind Pig”, as well as a decaf, both of which are available through the bright orange Slayer espresso machine. Dave’s has the obligatory bulk brew (the Black Crow blend) as well as featuring two single-origins on pour-over, available through Chemex, Aeropress, Clever Dripper and French Press, although the Chemex is most heavily featured and hence most often requested. Plus, if you ask nicely, the staff will open up whatever single-origins they have in stock and make you a cup. If you’re feeling peckish, Dave’s also has a small, but interesting, selection of cake.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Dave’s Coffee occupies an interesting spot on Providence’s sharply-sloping South Main Street. On the corner with the pleasingly-named Williams Street, it has a large triangular cut-out on the Main Street side, leaving a small, square window on the left-hand end, followed by a long, main window sloping away at about 30⁰ to the street. This does, at least, create a small, triangular outside area which is undercover, providing some shelter for the solitary bench.
The door is half-way down the main window, and, stepping inside, you find that the counter mirrors this strange arrangement, angled so that it runs parallel to the window. This gives the interior an even weirder shape than you might have thought, effectively leaving Dave’s shaped like a tick, the long stroke running back from Main Street.
As you come in, the counter is opposite you, cake almost directly ahead. To your left and right, window-bars provide the initial seating options, with four seats to the right, and six more to the left. Ahead of you, on the right, Dave’s extends backwards, running away from Main Street. The counter is on the left, parallel to the right-hand wall, while there is seating in for the form of a long, communal table running down the centre. At the end of the counter, there’s a small, enclosed kitchen/storeroom area, while the seating continues with a cosy nook, accessible up a couple of steps. The seating here is in the form of low wooden benches against the remaining three walls, with small, moveable coffee tables. Given the choice, I’d sit back here every time.
Although Dave’s is on a corner, there are no windows in the right-hand wall which runs along Williams Street. So while the front of the store has plenty of natural light from the windows, at the back it would be gloomy without the numerous spotlights. However, it’s quite cosy back here, particularly with the wooden-cladding on the walls, providing a natural counterpart to the slightly garish orange colour scheme of Dave’s.
Despite the strange layout, Dave’s is quite spacious, with plenty of room to order and, with the inevitable counter service, wait for your coffee. The coffee-making side of things is also on display, the counter being a similarly large, uncluttered affair. The side facing the window is dedicate to espresso, with a gorgeous Slayer Espresso machine and its two grinder (house-blend and decaf) occupying the bulk of the space. On the other side, opposite the counter, is the brew bar, where you can stand and watch your Chemex being made.
I did consider trying a Chemex of one of the single-origins, finding the Papua New Guinea particularly temping. However, it was the first coffee of the day and when I’m out, I generally opt for something with milk, so went for a cortado. This, as it turned out, was an excellent choice. Dave’s Blind Pig espresso blend goes very well with milk, the two combining to form a sweet, smooth, harmonious whole. The milk was also expertly steamed, holding its pattern all the way to the bottom of the glass.
|341 SOUTH MAIN STREET • PROVIDENCE • RI 02903 • USA|
|Monday||07:00 – 19:00||Roaster||Dave’s Coffee Co (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 19:00||Seating||Window-bars, Tables, Benches, Bench (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 19:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 19:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 19:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||07:00 – 19:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 19:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||2nd June 2015|
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