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Around the world with our baristas: California

Discover our new Golden Gate Espresso, “bridging” West Coast coffee roasters practises and their Italian colleagues traditions. 

In California, there’s something for every taste. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived there last May. Here in Sherbrooke, during my initiation into the fine points of coffee and the delicate manipulations involved, I knew right away that I was going to have fun. I was eager to learn. It’s a very rich world. I’ve been so lucky to spend the last while (a few years now!) immersed in an exciting, entertaining universe where something is always happening. I’d like to tell you about my coffee faves in California: some iconic spots that are really worth your while.

My favorite places

Verve Coffee Roasters

As charming as its name, Santa Cruz is fresh like a cool, exotic breeze. And Verve is a gem you simply must not miss. It’s breathtakingly spacious, with a scattering of tables and, of course, the terrace overlooking Pacific Avenue. In the very centre of the shop is the bar with its various coffee machines and a team of baristas who take real pleasure in explaining the myriad fine points of their products. Percolators, grinders, slow press ... everything needful for a fine coffee experience is right there. The atmosphere is relaxed and yet stimulating, just like the aura downtown Santa Cruz projects. Verve is local business par excellence, and it selects the finest products to offer quality, know-how and a pleasurable taste experience. Surfing and coffee:  two passions united and Verve was born! Today, you can enjoy the Verve experience in New York or even in the heart of Los Angeles.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Intrigued by their history and their brand image, I couldn’t resist checking it out. I must admit that I find history really fascinating. I like to know the stumbling blocks, the anecdotes, the how and why, what made the business take off. Where did it get its name? I did my research, asked the employees to tell me more and here are the basics. Blue Bottle Coffee is a roasting house that focuses on single-origin coffees. Its tale is woven around a single desire, one the company says goes back in time: “serving our coffee within 48 hours after roasting” to get the benefit of the fine flavour. Obviously, the business has expanded over the years. It keeps growing in popularity and I conclude that its coffee is worth savouring.

Cafe Bellini

Taking its inspiration from the grand coffeehouses of Florence, Italy, Café Bellini offers a varied menu in a relaxed atmosphere. Ideally located in Union Square, in the heart of San Francisco, it’s a place that puts everyone at ease. All products are reasonably priced. The coffee is good, but no more. The service, on the other hand, is incredible! The baristas really enjoy explaining what’s hot about their products. I would call this a practical type of place: coffee to stay or go, anything, any time. Ideal for people who may not have the time to linger. The business has pinpointed its patrons’ needs in order to serve them better.

Do some research to find out the best coffee shops in town

I soon understood that in California, it’s hard to find a place without coffee. Any time of day, whatever your preference, you will find it. Of course, there are lots of coffee shops, but with a little searching, you can find good roasting houses that are sure to satisfy you.

Carolanne Daigle

 
GOLDEN GATE ESPRESSO
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