Food & dining

short order

Brookline cafe born in Kazakhstan

Last fall in Brookline, Alan Draper (below) opened 4A Coffee, whose first iteration was in Almaty, Kazakhstan. A macchiato (above) and Mexican beans (below) roasted in the shop.


Last fall in Brookline, Alan Draper opened 4A Coffee, whose first iteration was in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Above, a macchiato.


Alan Draper.


One of the latest additions to the area coffee landscape is the brainchild of Alan Draper, who started a cafe in Kazakhstan in 2005. Draper, who has a background working in restaurants, was traveling and eventually landed in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he met his wife, Erke, and where they opened 4A Coffee. The couple relocated to Brookline and their new 4A Coffee near Coolidge Corner has been open since October. On the menu is expertly made macchiato ($2.60), cappuccino ($3-$3.95), and mocha ($3.50-$4.45), all from beans roasted in-house in a gorgeous, giant machine visible behind the counter. Draper makes his own blends and works with a variety of importers. He prefers a darker roast, with beans that might come from any of the four A’s referred to in the shop’s name: Asia, Africa, and North and South America ($6.50-$9.50 for 8 ounces; $12.95-$17.95 for 16 ounces). This is just about the friendliest cafe around without, paradoxically, any seating, except for a couple of window nooks. The focus is on efficient service and high-quality coffee, not on providing a place to while away the day on your laptop. So you can’t Google Almaty unless you’re very good at balancing your phone, money, and coffee. But Alan and Erke Draper might tell you about it over an espresso. 4A Coffee, 419 Harvard St., Coolidge Corner, Brookline, 617-738-4444. LUKE PYENSON

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