Bringing taste and community to Boise: Dawson’s

The Coffee Guy @ Dawson's DowntownThere’s three things you can do in Boise on any given weekend. 1) Go hunting for whatever’s in season. 2) Work, and wish you were doing something else. 3) Head downtown to hang out with friends and share in community. Most sane people choose option three (unless they really like venison jerky 😀 ).

BoDo is a place with much to do, even for those out-of-state. Parks, shops, music, clubs, and everything in-between. Although all of downtown has hangout locations, one rises above all the rest. If you’re a local, you know 8th street is THE place to chill. And everyone who’s anyone knows that Dawson’s Downtown is THE place to get coffee on 8th street.

Dawson's DowntownAn out-of-stater, or first time local, may feel slightly left out moments after walking into Dawson’s. It’s clear this is a regular local hangout: the baristas greeting people by name, folks standing around talking to friends they just ran in to, and a definite atmosphere of relaxation. That same out-of-stater, or first-timer, will soon lose this feeling of intimidation moments after ordering their coffee. The staff at Dawson’s greets everyone with a smile and a compliment, if only in demeanor. The coffee shop is decorated in snipits of humor, warm-colored paint, and even a mosaic featuring a cup of joe. After getting past their initial bout of insecurity, that same out-of-stater/first-timer will recognize the inherit love and joy that permeates the very walls of Dawson’s Downtown. It’s like a really sweet party that you didn’t know was going on. Now that you’re in, you can’t help but tell others about it.

Dawson's Downtown 2So what about the coffee? Dawson’s uses a medium roast espresso blend for everything you order. They also feature many different types of house blends, changing them day-to-day. Their 12oz espresso coffees come with two shots, 16oz with three, and 20oz with three or four (depending on your addiction level).
The espresso drinks are smooth and have a constant, very flavorful taste. I personally recommend their breve with your choice of syrup; its creamy taste combined with the smooth shots is an incredible flavor and texture combination to behold. It’s clear the baristas have a feel for how to do coffee, and their humor and passion only add to that expertise.
Dawson’s is slightly pricey- $3.10 for a 16oz latte. That being said, the price is well worth the taste and experience, and no where near the fortune it takes to get the same drink at brand-name coffee houses. If I were you, I’d cough up the change- you won’t be disappointed.

I really love Dawson’s Downtown! Their great customer service, the awesome people, atmosphere of joy, and fabulous coffee, combined with the free wi-fi makes me give it a four thumbs up.

The story of Dawson Taylor, as told from the founders (from

On October of 1995, we began Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters in response to the need for a local roaster of exceptional quality coffees. Dawson Taylor Coffee Roasters is named after our son, Dawson Taylor Ledgard.

We operate with this goal in mind: To provide the highest quality coffees available. With our experience and passion for coffee, we offer unparalleled customer support and service.

Every day, we roast beans of the highest quality from the finest coffee-producing regions and estates of the world. Freshness is of paramount concern when roasting such specialty grades of coffee. Therefore, we custom roast in small batches as individual orders dictate.

We use a traditional European-style drum roaster. This hands-on method ensures that our coffee can be roasted to perfection. We take great pride in the art of consistently roasting every order that will bear our name.

More than 15 years of experience in the specialty coffee marketplace, coupled with our pledge for integrity, offer a unique opportunity for partnership. We trust that you will be completely satisfied should you select Dawson Taylor as your coffee roaster.

– Dave and Cindy Ledgard

Dawson’s has several locations around the Treasure Valley. For the full effect, head to 8th street.

What’s your experience with Dawson’s?

The Coffee Guy

A personal note to the first-timer:
Just so you know, Dawson’s is famous for being hardcore about supporting local coffee. NEVER discuss The Great Satan (Starbucks) in their presence. The picture below speaks for itself.

Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Starbucks
Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Starbucks

7 thoughts on “Bringing taste and community to Boise: Dawson’s

  1. I may need to come to Boise if only for the sole purpose of going to Dawson’s. It sounds awesome! And with me not being a local I would make it my mission to go enough while there so they will remember my name!

    Love your blog, glad we’re twitter tweeps and I can’t wait to read more!

    Your fellow coffee addict,

  2. Kerri and I go in there all the time, and sometimes get our stainless steel starbucks coffee mugs filled with DT coffee. (They are the only ones we could find that just flat out don’t leak.) We are always careful to explain that while Starbucks may be on the outside of the mug, it’s never on the inside.=)

    I am mostly a drip or americano coffee drinker, so the flavor of the roast is very important to me. Dawson’s goes a long ways for me with the freshness of their product. You will never hear Starbucks talk about fresh roasted beans, because they can’t provide that. Dawson Taylor does, and for me, that makes all the difference.

  3. When at DT’s use a real cup and leave the cardboard for others. Cardboard & coffee does not make good coffee.

    Another best of times at DT is Spring-Fall at the Saturday Market in the mornings. Dawson coffee, kettle corn out front, fresh bread next door, ah….

    And then on any other day I look over at Hammer across the street, think about crossing over and trying it…then I think why; just to get to the other side is not worth it.

    1. Hammer is a good place to go study. Comfortable seats and available plug ins. Coffee isn’t as good though.

  4. Thanks for the love!

    If only we had the time and money to better communicate all the incredible things about Dawson’s–ethical bean sourcing, traditional small-batch drum roasting by Skip, our expert roaster (minutes away, so the beans are always freshfreshfresh; we often serve them the same day they’re roasted), in-depth barista training, continued attention to detail, the best machines, ultra-purified water, just to name a few–I know more people would feel the way you do.

    Dawson’s is also an incredible place to work. You might notice that there’s never any turnover, and that more than a few college graduates still lurk behind the La Marzocco.

    We just hope the coffee speaks for itself.

  5. I think Dawson Taylor is the best coffee in town. Also must try The Perks of Life in Eagle. They also serve Dawson Taylor coffee and espresso. They make the best latte’s on that side of town. Everything they make is from scratch. They have the best scones in the valley!

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