There’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.
An 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.
So 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 http://DawsonTaylor.com)
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.