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Getting coffee on the go in Allston, thanks to food trucks

Posted by Roy Greene  October 28, 2011 10:55 AM

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(Wendy Maeda/Globe staff/ file photo)


The Clover food truck, shown here in Cambridge, serves iced and hot coffee from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the westbound side of the BU Bridge.

If you’re a student living in Allston, you don’t have to worry anymore about finding the nearest café; it will find you. That’s because coffee trucks are appearing all over the neighborhood, bringing the café to people on the go.

More food trucks appeared in Boston earlier this year as a result of the city’s Food Truck Challenge, a competition initiated by Mayor Thomas M. Menino to bring healthy food to the streets. Coffee trucks are part of that trend.

On Commonwealth Avenue, for example, on the westbound side of the BU Bridge, the Clover food truck serves iced and hot coffee from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Outside the Charles/MGH T stop, Equal Exchange Café serves up certified fair trade and organic coffee every morning-- on a tricycle.

“College students and people in their twenties enjoy the convenience of getting their coffee while passing by.” said Peter Meyer, the 42-year-old owner of Lincoln Street Coffee. Most weekday mornings, Meyer’s truck can be found in the 600 block of Commonwealth Avenue.

In 2011, 40 percent of 18- to 24-year olds drank coffee daily, up from 31 percent in 2010, according to the National Coffee Association of U.S.A Inc. For most college students, coffee is a necessity, but time and money are too.

Parked every weekday morning from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. in front of Alfred L. Morse Auditorium, Lincoln Street Coffee On the Go serves organic coffee, including a selection of traditional hot and iced coffee as well as homemade recipes, such as the Milky Way latte or the raspberry truffle latte. Other items on the menu include breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, and natural fruit smoothies.

“I get my coffee from Dillanos coffee roasters in Seattle,” Meyer said. “They won Roast’s 2011 Macro Roaster of the Year award.”

Meyer opened Lincoln Street Coffee in Newton Highlands more than seven years ago. The idea of a “mobile full-service gourmet espresso bar” came to him when he noticed that some mobile coffee vendors in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami were doing very well.

“A coffee-truck relieves you from two burdens when opening a new café: the price and the location,” Meyer said.

Starbucks has four locations along Commonwealth Avenue, all within walking distance of BU. They also offer complimentary Wi-Fi and a cozy, but limited, sitting area. But Starbucks’ customers complain about the wait time in line.

“Starbucks is really busy in between classes,” said Samantha Kennedy, a BU freshman. “I try to go there early, when it’s still empty. If I can’t make it, I go to Lincoln Street Coffee. Their food is delicious.”

Youlia Racheva, 20, also a BU freshman, said: “I first stopped by Lincoln Street Coffee On the Go because it was on my way to class and I did not have the time to stop and get breakfast anywhere else. Their coffee was delicious, it was also a pretty quick service and not too expensive, either.”

A small cappuccino at Starbucks costs $2.75, without tax, and $3.50 at Lincoln Street, while a large latte at Starbucks costs $3.90 and $4 at Lincoln Street.

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and the Boston University News Service. Mounira Al Hmoud can be reached at malhmoud@bu.edu

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