Food, The Muse

Farewell, Mugar: Best Boston Cafés to Get Work Done, Part 2

Although Blue State Coffee, located at 957 Commonwealth Avenue, is removed from the academic hubbub of Boston University’s East Campus—the libraries, lecture halls and classroom buildings—the café has a pleasant, low-key vibe that makes it a great place for studying.

Nestled on the block just past FitRec, Blue State also lacks the hustle and bustle of West Campus. A glance in the large front window, which contributes to the bright, sunny storefront, will reveal that most people at Blue State are working on laptops, reading, writing or studying.

The owners of Blue State seemed to have an inkling that the place might just become a popular spot to do work. There are ample tables, a large picnic table and a section for seating in the back, which are all in easy reach of an outlet. The café usually plays soft background music, and the conversation never grows too loud, making it easy to concentrate. Blue State really has an atmosphere that is all its own: studious but not stuffy, and friendly but not overbearing.

Blue State is certainly an alternative to the Starbucks just down the street, both figuratively and literally, as the café is acclaimed for its gourmet, single origin coffee. The owners of Blue State travel to meet the farmers they buy from, selecting the very best of the batch. All of the coffee is organic, fair-trade and shade grown. It’s a mantra you’ve surely heard before, except Blue State is dedicated to making sure their coffee is ethically produced and environmentally sustainable.

In tune with that mission, Blue State is also known for its philanthropy. Since its opening in 2007, the café has donated over $300,000 to more than 100 non-profit organizations. Blue State keeps a bowl of little wooden coins next to the counter, and with each purchase you can “vote” for which organization you’d like to receive the donation. While students might know Blue State as the ideal study spot, within the Boston community Blue State is recognized for both good karma and good coffee.

Blue State also has a significant number of vegetarian options available, including the delicious Vegan Tempeh Burrito and the Buffalo Tofu Salad. Omnivores need not be disappointed, though, as Blue State offers traditional sandwiches too, all of which are made with antibiotic- and hormone-free meat.

Not surprisingly, such high quality food and drink is going to cost a bit more than a to-go coffee and snack at Campus Convenience. But you’re paying for good food, good coffee and you’re money is going to a good cause. Now if only Blue State accepted convenience points.

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