Q&A: Best Cup of Joe in Western MA?

Question and Answer

"Asking what's the best coffee is like asking what's the best wine or beer: it's so much about individual taste," writes Deborah Chandler. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Where can you get the best cup of coffee in Western MA?

  • Lisa Hall Blackmer recommends: Brewhaha, North Adams. (closed Wednesday) across from MASS MoCA.
  • Julianne Thibodeau Krutka recommends: My husband would tell you that the only coffee worth paying for is at Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Pat Gillen recommends: Pierce Bros. Hope St. Greenfield
  • Kett Lawrence recommends: Shelburne Fallls Coffee Roasters, and they have a new store in Hadley! I warn you though, once you try their coffee, you’ll be hooked. There is no turning back once you’ve had it. Second up is Esselon, also in Hadley. Their coffee is so rich and good…
  • Michael Muller recommends: Pierce Bros. I get it at the ‘Round Here Cafe, Turners Falls.
  • Anne Campbell recommends: Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls, of course.
  • Beth Caissie recommends: Greenfield Coffee makes the best mocha in the valley.
  • Carrie St John recommends: Woodstar in Northampton
  • Virginia Christi recommends: Pierce Bros., anywhere they sell it.
  • Diane Hinze Kanzler recommends: Dean’s Beans.
  • Leslie Lynn recommends: Agree on Shelburne Falls being really great as well as Woodstar. Plus, both places have very friendly staff. Northampton Coffee makes a really great latte if you are in the mood for that. I always end up drinking a chai at Haymarket which is great,but I guess that doesn’t count (but I LOVE how strong the coffee smells in there). I need to check out Pierce Bros.
  • Bruce Diehl recommends: Rao‘s rules the Amherst area…. props also to Amherst Coffee, Loose Goose, Black Sheep and Cushman.
  • Zach Howard recommends: Pages Coffee Bar in Conway, MA.
  • Deborah Chandler recommends: Asking what’s the best coffee is like asking what’s the best wine or beer: it’s so much about individual taste… My vote is for Pierce Bros. Fogbuster wherever it is being brewed to full strength. Close seconds are Haymarket, Woodstar, and several other places who brew French Roast that is locally roasted, fairly traded and organically grown.
  • Shauna Cain recommends: La Fiorentina is excellent for a variety of Italian-style coffees in Northampton.  Their cannolis and fruit tarts are scrumptious, too, and they’re reasonably priced to boot.
  • Suzy Helme recommends: Elf Parlor in North Adams.
  • Jessica Grant recommends: Used to be the Elbow Room cafe–now you can get Melissa’s fresh roasted (in Williamsburg!) beans and make the best at home!
  • Anita Morehouse recommends: Jesters, downtown Westfield. Love the Oromia blend. Although, LaFiorintina in NoHo has a great house blend as well.
  • Rae Griffiths recommends: Esselon Cafe
  • Dawn Klein recommends: Tunnel City, Williamstown, MA.
  • Jeff Winston recommends: Anywhere roasting FOGBUSTER!!
  • Peter Freisem recommends: Pages Coffee Bar in Conway!
  • Melissa Adams recommends: Bread Euphoria!


  1. Erin said,

    January 19, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Took the advice of a previous commenter and went to Woodstar on Monday to try their hot chocolate. It was the best cup I’d ever had! So my vote is Woodstar for sure (and the oatmeal cookies aren’t bad either).


  2. Melissa said,

    May 23, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Just tasted French Roast Honduran from Elbow Room roasters in Williamsburg – very good! They sell their beans at the new Burgy Thursday Market. Also like Pierce Bro’s Fogbuster (sold at Barts, River Valley Market & other places…)


  3. Phoebe said,

    May 20, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I hear great things about Elbow Room Cafe (mainly roasters) in Williamsburg. Roasting small batches all week and open as a cafe on Saturdays.


  4. May 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Naturally, our vote goes to Indigo Coffee in Northampton. The coffee is consistently roasted to perfection week after week and the owners and their staff are true professionals every step of the way. I first tasted it about a decade ago while visiting Northampton and “swore” the day would come when I offered it for sale to other lucky coffee connoisseurs…and here we are, happily doing exactly that.


  5. May 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Not just because we own the Loose Goose Cafe, but Pierce Bros. Coffee Roasters is the very best in the valley. Come to our cafe and ask for a sampling. We will let you taste test. Compare your traditional fire roasted to the Pierce Bros. “air” roasted. The coffee beans don’t ever burn. It’s a less acidic brewed cup of coffee, that doesn’t leave a nasty taste in your mouth.


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