Great Coffee Susan

Appreciating Great Coffee or Helping Fellow Coffee Lovers Keep Their Standards High

Category: Uncategorized

A Grown Up Place for Good Coffee

Last week I visited some dear friends in northern California. After landing at the San Francisco airport I drove up to the Sacramento area and then made my way down to Berkeley/El Cerrito, San Francisco and Palo Alto/Mountain View. Of course I enjoyed really good coffee along the way. I’m inspired by the notion that places such as Temple Coffee & Tea in Sacramento not only serve great coffee but also create a mature, grown up atmosphere.

As I walked into Temple Coffee & Tea, I immediately noticed the wood furniture and industrial design. The cafe is spacious and uncluttered. The floor is concrete and the tables are long giving a communal atmosphere. Green plants appear to be strategically placed throughout the store. I didn’t feel granola crunchy at all. If anything I felt like I was in a very forward thinking, cool yet extremely professional design studio – at the very least what this studio would have as a reception area. The only people around were professionals holding meetings or taking a break from the office.

The barista brought the coffee to me at the table I settled into. I had the Ethiopia – Amaro Dernaye as a pour over which was divine. Temple uses floral, lemon, soft with clean finish as its description. I also picked up some pistachio and definitely experienced the clean ending. It’s not an overwhelming bean but definitely not disappointing either.

I also indulged in a raspberry lemon scone. Temple uses Old Soul Company and one other baker for its baked goods. I love how coffee shops are starting to care about the baked goods they serve. The food is no longer seen as just an obligatory object full of flour and butter. The scone was delicious.

Thanks to roasters such as Temple, Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia, I think we can say good-bye to major attitude, granola, crunchy college days. We’re grown ups now.


Skip the Coffee If You Must

“I’ll have a vodka tonic with Kettle One.”

“Give me a Guinness.”

Such care is taken with ordering a cocktail or beer or even a soda.  For some, if the restaurant doesn’t serve Coke, then forget about it.

Even when we order food, we have particular preferences.

“I’ll take the house omelet but can I have egg whites?”

“Do you use grass fed beef for your burger?”

So after a swanky cocktail, scrumptious organic-grass-fed-free-range-locally-grown-truffled-meal why settle for taking whatever hot, black liquid a place serves?

Many who serve you in restaurants have no clue as to the kind of coffee they offer not to mention how to prepare it.  I’ve found myself deciding against ending a wonderful meal with a cup of coffee because of either the lack of basic coffee knowledge or the fact that the coffee offered is not good.

Fortunately we’re seeing an increasing number of highly reputable restaurants such as Jose Andres’ Think Food Group restaurants, list their roasters on the menu.  Andres’ east coast restaurants offer Counter Culture Coffee while The Bazaar in L.A. serves Intelligentsia.  I love dining at such restaurants.  I even select a restaurant based on the coffee it serves.  Not only am I going to have a satisfying meal but I know I’m going to end on a high note with a great cup of coffee.

Start asking your server about the coffee.  Who roasts it?  What’s the origin?  If s/he doesn’t know then it’s best to skip the coffee.  Why ruin a wonderful meal?

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