Top Five Coffee Shops in America West
There’s nothing like taking the first sip of coffee at your local coffee shop. The aroma, the flavor and the familiar surroundings work together to invigorate the senses, and create a moment of reflection. Not all coffee houses have what it takes to bring you to that special place, but we’ve travelled around the west side of America, checking out coffee shops to find out what ones are worth the trip.
Heart Roasters Café has an elegant minimalist style to go with their award-winning coffee (they were the recipient of Farmer’s Good Food Award for coffee in 2013). If you get a chance to visit it, keep an eye out for their equipment: a rare espresso machine and vintage roaster accent the chic style of the coffee house.
Los Angeles, California
The owners of G&B, Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, know their coffee. Glanville won the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) 2008 United States Barista Championship, and Babinski has finished second twice. Their LA coffee house, G&B (they also own Go Get ‘Em Tiger) has a unique bar-style that eliminates lineups. Clients simply “belly up” to the bar to be served.
Santa Cruz, California
Colby Barr and Ryan O’Donovan, the 30-something-year-old entrepreneurs running the Verve, started out as a simple coffee shop in Santa Cruz before turning into full-fledged roasters, providing beans to local restaurants and stores. With beans originating from Honduras, Colombia, Ethiopia and Kenya, there’s enough variety to keep locals satisfied.
Intelligentsia is one of the fastest-growing coffee chains in America. They know how to create quality coffee, and they share their techniques in a hands-on training program called the barista training course. The workshop teaches the public how to prepare espressos, steam milk and build drinks like a pro. Courses are offered in Chicago and run from 2 PM to 5 PM CDT for $200.
Boxcar made it on the list for their unique brewing method. Located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder Colorado has an elevation of 5,430 feet (1,655 meters); because of the decreased atmospheric pressure, the Boxcar Roasters are able to boil coffee at lower temperatures. The idea came from people brewing coffee over campfires in the Rocky Mountains, earning it the nickname “cowboy coffee.”