117 S 10th Street
Boise, Idaho 83702
This year, Remington and I decided to take a three-day weekend to explore the PNW as a family each month. Having that intentional exploration and family time on a regular basis has been great. This month, we went to Boise, Idaho, to watch my sister in a production of Into the Woods. She’s graduating college this year (with a double major in biology and music!), and we still hadn’t been to any of her musicals. She was excited about her role (the baker’s wife), and since Boise isn’t too far, we made it happen. Of course, while we were in town, we went to a couple coffee shops. I recently was made aware of some new coffee shops in Boise, and wanted to check them out. One of them was Neckar Coffee in downtown Boise.
Back when Remington and I lived in Boise, I remember going to Neckar Coffee’s pour-over bar at the farmer’s market. We ordered a coffee and chatted with those working at the stand for about half a minute, because it was super popular and busy. We were really excited then that excellent third wave coffee was finally coming to Boise. Since then, a few great shops have opened up (you can expect a guide to Boise coffee from me in about two months), and as of less than a year ago, Neckar is now in its own brick-and-mortar shop.
Neckar Coffee is located just a couple blocks from where they used to set up shop at the farmer’s market. The space has an elegant, minimalist + retro feel. There is a lot of white: walls, counter, tables, but the warm wood floors and rusty red velvet bench all along the right side of the shop ensure that it feels warm and welcoming. Retro light fixtures over the bar and the minimalist decor adds to the overall vibe, with the espresso machine and pour over bar holding a prominent spot in the decor.
When we went in, they had a Kenyan coffee for all drinks: espresso-based and pour over. I ordered a macchiato. It was good, but I think it would have been a lot better with oat milk; regular milk mutes some of the unique flavors of a Kenyan coffee, in my opinion. Remington ordered an espresso and a pour over, both of which were very tasty. The espresso had a bright hibiscus acidity, a cinnamon spiciness, and a surprisingly creamy body. My mom ordered an oat milk cappuccino, which confirmed my suspicion that the espresso would be really good with oat milk: it was excellent. Everly and Jude split a steamer, as usual, and also ordered an almond croissant to split. The croissant was absolutely amazing; I highly recommend a pastry if you end up going to Neckar. All of the drinks came in super unique ceramics.
Since my parents joined us at the coffee shop, Everly and Jude were quite occupied by my dad dragging them across the floor with his crutch. They were a bit more noisy than I would usually be comfortable with, but no one seemed bothered, and we didn’t stay for an extended time. As far as family-friendliness goes, I can’t give it a rating, as I forgot to check the bathroom for a changing table. There are no child-specific amenities, but if you are okay with being very hands-on with your children, there is no reason not to bring them. The shop is spacious and at least when we went there, finding a table was easy. The shop was on the quieter side, but not overly so.
As far as tech goes, Neckar is unique in that it is the first shop I have encountered with a full manual espresso machine: a Bosco Sorrento Lever machine. As owner of a manual espresso machine, I was impressed and intrigued. The grinders were all by Mahlkonig, and the pour overs were done on ceramic Hario V60s. I didn’t ask to confirm, but it looked like they were using Acacia Pearl scales for pour overs.
If you are in Boise for any reason, Neckar Coffee is an excellent choice for coffee. It would be especially well suited for working, meeting a friend, or just grabbing a cup to go. If you stop by, let me know what you think!