There's one thing that nearly every country has in common with the others: coffee to start the day. Whether a person prefers an early-morning jolt of espresso or a nice, mild-medium roast to sip on throughout the day, caffeine is the one thing that brings us all together and helps us to, well... wake up!

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The world would look a lot different without coffee shops, cafes, and bistros, and one city that has them all is Boston. Massachusetts, and New England, in general, are full of artisanal coffee shops that make us wish we could spend all day people-watching or curl up in the corner with a book. While most of us can't do that (as much as we'd like to) we can stop in for a cup of coffee, a pastry, and spend some time soaking up the atmosphere. For those visiting Boston or lucky enough to live there, these coffee shops should be on the list.

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George Howell

For those who didn't know, George Howell was the owner of Coffee Connection, which he sold to Starbucks back in the 90s. George Howell Coffee is now the epitome of everything that people loved about Coffee Connection, with beans that are roasted in Acton and a location in the Godfrey Hotel, which is easy to find in Boston.

The atmosphere is elegant and simple with the coffee to match, and customers will find anything from hearty espresso to perfectly-executed, frothy frappucinos. This café is not far from great shopping in Boston, as well, so it's fun to make a day out of visiting.

Curio Coffee & Wine

East Cambridge is home to Curio, and while this coffee bar turns into a wine bar at night, it's the place to be for those just stepping out of Lechmere Station. It's also the place to be first thing in the morning if you're a fan of waffles - Liège waffles, in particular. These snack-sized, fluffy waffles come in a variety of flavors that are rotated through the year, and on any given day, lemon poppyseed or orange cardamom Earl Grey could be on the menu.

The coffee served at Curio comes from Counter Culture, so you know that a cup of anything on this menu is bound to be stellar. Even the name of the coffee shop alludes to the atmosphere inside of it, where everything is a 'curious' collection of locally found items.

Broadsheet Coffee Roasters

If you're looking for great food to go along with great coffee, then Broadsheet Coffee Roasters in Cambridge is the place to go. This menu includes things such as egg boats, which feature fresh bread and a perfectly-fried egg in the center in the true Georgian style, and all of their foods are made from scratch, with another favorite being the Levan Breakfast Plate.

It's the kind of place you could walk into and set up at a table for some work, or meet friends for a leisurely meal and a good cup of coffee just to hang out for a bit. The atmosphere is chill and the vibe is simple, making this a community favorite among those who visit often.

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Jaho Coffee Roaster (& Wine Bar)

Jaho Coffee has multiple locations (including one in Tokyo!) and their fans are definitely thankful for it. This coffee shop is based in Salem, Massachusetts, but has locations throughout Boston, as well. Along with an exceptional coffee selection, Jaho also offers seasonal options that are specific to the area and local influences.

The atmosphere is simple and community-based, with an environment that's friendly and welcoming to everyone and just seems to hug you as soon as you walk through the door. Additionally, Jaho offers small bites such as stuffed croissants and sweet pastries, all of which smell delicious and taste as fantastic as they look.

Render Coffee

Render Coffee is located in the South End of Boston which already makes it a big hit with those who love to spend time in this area of the city. This coffee shop has exceptional coffee, with their lattes, in particular, being a favorite of many.

They also serve a menu that's thoughtful and full of flavor, with a freshness that equally matches the refreshing feeling you'll get when walking into the greenhouse, which is an airy seating area attached to this awesome coffeehouse. If the food and the coffee don't sell you then the atmosphere at Render Coffee definitely will (but we're pretty sure you'll be sold the second you smell that fresh cup of Joe).

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