I was in Harvard Square this weekend and decided to stop by Crema Café, 27 Brattle St., Cambridge, Mass. It gets pretty crowded, so if you want a prime seat you’ll probably need to arrive early.
I sat at a wooden communal table in the front of the café. There were stools to seat about 10 people. There are also a few tables set up outside, but it was a beautiful day so those were taken. Additional seating is available in the loft-like balcony, which overlooks the counter downstairs. The space of Crema Café is a bit industrial and cool with exposed wooden ceilings, hanging light fixtures, wood floors and exposed brick walls.
Crema Café has a variety of baked goods to pick from such as muffins, scones, coconut macaroons and cookies. They also have a menu featuring salads and sandwiches, if you’d like something more substantial. I decided to try one of their cupcakes and went with the chocolate chili cupcake, a bold choice for me since I don’t usually like anything spicy. It was chocolate though, and I rarely say no to chocolate. They also had a peanut butter and jelly cupcake and a hummingbird cupcake. It’s a fairly limited selection as far as cupcakes go, but they do have many other things to choose from.
The chocolate chili cupcake was fantastic. If you visit Crema Café and they have them that day, I recommend you give one a try. I was really hoping it wasn’t going to be a hot and spicy cupcake. That would seem a little weird to me. Instead, the chili provided something a little extra, enhancing the flavor of the chocolate and leaving just a lingering impression of heat in my mouth.
The cake was moist and light, with chocolate flavor that wasn’t overwhelming. Inside, was a chocolate ganache filling. The cupcake was topped off with light and smooth chocolate buttercream. The top of the cupcake was a little crunchy, but I actually liked that contrast with the soft cake on the bottom half.
I also tried a red crema with my cupcake, which is a roobis tea latte with honey and cinnamon. I usually drink chai tea lattes when I am at a café because I don’t like coffee, so I was excited to try this alternative tea drink. The red crema is sweet and has a light honey flavor. There was quite a bit of foam on top, but it was decorative and sprinkled with cinnamon. Since I don’t drink coffee, I never get the pretty designs on top of my drinks. I probably got more excited about this than I should have. My red crema was perfect for cutting the bit of spice from my cupcake.
Crema Café has a loud and lively atmosphere, so if you are in the mood to get in some people watching (one of my favorite things aside from chocolate) and try a tasty treat, then stop by.
Photos by Jessica McWeeney.