Browsing Tag

california

Coffee Shop

#34 Common Grounds


Antigua Coffee Shop

2171 Cowell Blvd.
Davis, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-792-1781

 

WWW.COMMONGROUNDSDAVIS.COM
IG @cg.davis.coffee

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Date Visited: October 18, 2019

This is a coffee shop I can get behind and so can 7,000 other people. Common Grounds has had a handful of battles but I can assure you, it’s here to stay. Who are they you ask? In 2013, the landlord of the business park decided to deny Common Grounds from renewing their spot to allow a Starbucks drive-thru to take its place. As word spread, the community became outraged. Something had to be done. Over 7,000 people signed a petition to keep Common Grounds over the well known Starbucks. Then the Mayor of Davis and a Senator stepped in and saved the day. It’s been thriving ever since, 16 years strong.

Not to mention, it’s run by the sweetest people, Son Chong and Michelle Kim. They have done a great job making the shop spotless, delightful, and full of coffee! Tons of coffee options, teas, smoothie, frappes, and much more. Their most popular drink right now is the lavender vanilla latte, and the special is the Aztec Mocha – a delicious twist on the traditional mocha with spiced Mexican chocolate. They sounded delicious but I went with a good ‘ole black coffee.

I ended up going here dozens of times while in Davis and began to get to know the baristas and the owner, Michelle, while I was there. They all treated me with the same friendliness, even before finding out what I was doing with Find That Coffee. In addition to great drinks and service, they also serve a variety of tasty sandwiches and baked goods. I tried a ton of their pastries while getting caught up on my coffee articles. After speaking with Michelle I came to learn that Common Grounds is a huge supporter of the cycling community. They have hung tons of local jerseys up and have become a meeting ground for bike clubs. A common ground if you will. The Davis bike club meets here every Wednesday night and the Woodland bike club meets here on Fridays. And, you can’t beat it for studying as well, tons of seating, great music, and day-old pastries were discounted! I enjoyed my time here and I will be back again and again!

Nothing gets me more excited about my cross-country adventure than discovering locals supporting locals. Small coffee shops like this are fully supported by the community and it’s amazing to see them give back in everything they do. Whether it’s their friendly attitudes, the way we all get to know each others lives, or our drinks made with care. This is what I search for, this is one of the many foundations of Find That Coffee.

The bathroom gets a 10/10 in my opinion. Always clean, and there were two so I never had to wait. Toilet paper, soap, and paper towels always stocked. They took pride in keeping this bathroom clean and smelling good.

Coffee Shop

#33 Delta of Venus


Delta of Venus

122 B St.
Davis, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-753-8639

 

WWW.DELTAOFVENUS.ORG
IG @deltaofvenus

Facebook

Date Visited: October 18, 2019

Starving in a town with a handful of coffee shops can be a godsend. Especially when you know some of the locals. After exploring Davis, California for the past couple of days, I kept hearing about the Delta of Venus. A locals word hadn’t let me down yet!

I was told to look for the giant bike rack out front. Found it! I couldn’t spot a sign out front but Google reassured me that I had reached my destination. I parked the van and walked through the very neat wooden passageway. People were outside soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful day ahead.

Heading inside I began to realize this was a California home back in the day. Wooden floors, tons of rooms, and a sweet layout. The walls were filled with artwork, fireplace covered in books, and an extensive menu that wrapped around two walls. Saying this place had character was an understatement, it was wonderfully homey.

I walked up and introduced myself to Blake, the barista. I told him why I was traveling and he couldn’t have been a more genuinely nice guy. I asked him what he recommended for breakfast – the veggie scramble – I went with it. This omelet is filled with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, red bell peppers, red onions, tomato, and garlic. Topped with melted jack cheese and sour cream. Ah, it makes me hungry to think about. It was one of the best omelets I’ve had on the road. And what pairs well with breakfast? Yup, you guessed it, a tasty cup of coffee. But, this wasn’t just any cup of coffee, the beans were roasted by bicycle by a man that goes by The Pepper Pedaler!

The DOV serves draft beer, wine, mimosas, and tons of hot and cold coffee options. The main food choices are omelets, salad, sandwiches, hummus, and soup. It all sounded delicious but that omelet was made with LOVE!

Blake walked me around the cafe when the line of people died down. Wow, this place got crowded! DOV has been around for almost 16 years and a staple in the college community for a very long time. They offer free wifi, tons of seating, a great amount of natural light, host a community library, offer vegan and vegetarian options, and sell used records, CDs, and books. Every Friday they have a DJ drop tunes in the afternoon. And be sure to check out the amazing artwork by Mich Martinez and Will Durkee. I will definitely be back. 

The bathroom gets an 8/10 rating. There was a sign on the door that reads, “Bathroom, We care about Hearts more than we care about parts.” I thought that was great and I thought all the tags on the door looked so cool.

Coffee Shop

#32 Mishka’s Cafe


Mishka’s Cafe

610 2nd St.
Davis, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-759-0811

 

WWW.MISHKASCAFE.COM
IG @mishkascafe

Facebook

Date Visited: October 17, 2019

One of the most popular coffee shops in Davis, California, Mishka’s Cafe. Each time I drove by this cafe it was packed! And rumor has it that it was named after a cat that passed away! I was stoked to check this place out.  My first impression of it was a good one; tons of seating out front on the patio, on the side of the building and inside was rather large as well. No lie, almost every seat was taken with people talking to friends, relaxing, and working on their laptops. I was digging it.

I waited for the line to die down before interviewing the baristas. Everyone working there was extremely friendly to me and excited to find out what I was doing. Melanie and Cassidy were very accommodating and answered all of my questions. But before we could get started, they poured me a delicious and beautiful cappuccino. It was accompanied by a tasty espresso chocolate. They informed me that Mishka’s has been grinding since 1995, over 25 years! In the mornings, locals takeover, while students tend to trickle in during the afternoon. It makes sense; there is tons of room to spread out, free wifi, comforting jazz music, and they close at 9:30 p.m. every night. Their most popular drink is a latte. And they conveniently offer 2 bathrooms. I enjoyed my time here. Mishka’s even roasts their own beans; they know what they’re doing.

Also when you’re here be sure to walk around and check out the artwork. While I was visiting they were highlighting an artist named Megna Hari and all of her wonderful prints. She made them by carving linoleum blocks and hand-rolling ink onto them before pressing on paper. Videos of her process can be found on her site. I  added a few photos of my favorites. The word “amazing” is an understatement. Go check it out while enjoying a delicious latte.

The bathrooms were fine, considering how many people were there it was surprisingly clean. There was a giant mirror that allowed me to check myself out and make sure I didn’t have any chocolate stuck in my teeth LOL. I’d rate the bathrooms a 7/10, nothing special but they would get the job done. 

Coffee Shop

#31 Cloud Forest Cafe


Cloud Forest Cafe

222 D St.
Davis, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-753-2164

 

WWW.CLOUDFORESTCAFE.COM
IG @cloudforestcafe

Facebook


Date Visited
: October 17, 2019

Do you like biking and coffee? Cloud Forest Cafe is a place worth checking out. They have a freaking bike suspended from the ceiling! Cloud Forest Cafe is an essential part of the coffee community in Davis, California. They have been around for over 20 years, fueling the community with coffee, smoothies, and good vibes. This seemed like a perfect spot for students to study and locals to hang out. I had to find out more.

I walked up to the counter and introduced myself to the barista. Her name was Garcia and she helped answer all of my questions. I ordered a small drip coffee and it was delicious. I come to find out that they roast their beans and they were doing a damn good job. And if you don’t want coffee they offer tea, Italian soda, smoothies, and tons of chai options. Garcia highlighted their wide variety of fresh-squeezed made-to-order fruit juices. Their most popular juice right now is the Pink Lady. This drink consists of oranges, pineapples, beets, and limes. It sounded refreshing I must say! Cloud Forest also offers an array of vegan and vegetarian options. They’re known for their paninis, avocado toast, and other breakfast options. A perfect place to relax, not to mention, the refills are only $0.50 and free Wifi for customers.

The bicycle hanging above me was such a beautiful relic. The plaque below reads:

“What does an old Schwinn bicycle have to do with Davis, California? Both Davis and Schwinn Bicycle Company experienced a bike boom in the 1970s. I like old Schwinns so much that I gave this one to Cloud Forest Cafe to look at while enjoying my favorite cup of coffee in Davis. You can still see old Schwinns riding around the city fifty years after they were built – bold bikes in a bold city.”
– Collector – 2014 UCD Alumni: Jeff S.

That is one gorgeous bike and I love that they display it for everyone to enjoy. Definitely one of my favorite discoveries in this shop, along with the handmade pottery for sale, and mosaic fish bench out front. I had a wonderful visit and understand why the cafe has been here for so long.

The bathrooms were a bit of a maze to find through the hallways but I was happy to see that they had two to offer. The bathrooms were basic but great for any situation, for this, I’ll rate it a 9/10. 

Coffee Shop

#30 Barista Brew


Black Frog Coffee
(Barista Brew Cafe)

431 G St.
Davis, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-757-7575

 

WWW.BLACKFROGCOFFEE.COM
IG @blackfrogcoffee_davis

Date Visited: October 17, 2019

This coffee shop has been a long time staple on the block in Davis, CA: 11 years and counting. I have been told that Barista Brew received a complete facelift this past summer of 2019 and I have to say it was beautifully clean in there. I stood in line behind a local student carrying her backpack. She seemed to be seeking a good coffee. I was greeted by a tall friendly guy named Luke. He has worked at Barista Brew for over a year and answered all my questions. He even offered to make me a drink on the house.

I was scanning the menu when Luke asked, “Would you like an iced latte?” I told him that sounded perfect. He began making my drink as I fired off some questions. The majority of customers are students and locals who enjoy Barista Brew’s great coffee and free wifi. Barista Brew offers some excellent deals: a Medium Iced Coffee for $1.99 all day long, and during “coffee o’clock” (1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) you can get a medium latte, mocha, or chai for the low cost of $2.75 (plus tax.) I would be in here all the time if I lived around here. Speaking of which, this latte was delicious. I found it delightful to find free persimmons and pomegranates in a basket on the counter. Luke told me the owner brought them in from home for customers to enjoy. That right there said a lot about this place.

Barista brew serves both breakfast and lunch with some appetizing and sizable options for a coffee shop. Anywhere from a breakfast burrito to a turkey pesto wrap! If you want something smaller, they offer homemade pastries like vanilla scones, cinnamon bread, and some enticing chocolate chip cookies.

If you come to hang out or get work done, it’s the perfect spot! Super clean and peaceful with few distractions and not a speck of dust. This is one of the few places that still offer a couch and comfy chairs. Worth checking out, you may just fall in love with the place, I know I did.

Their bathroom gets a 9/10, super clean and simple. My only suggestion is to add a cool mural or some character but besides that the bathroom is perfect. I appreciated the bright light in there, nothing worse than walking into a dark and dingy restroom.

Coffee Shop

#29 Three Ladies Cafe


Three Ladies Cafe

130 G Suite A
Davis, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-302-3434

 

WWW.THREELADIESCAFE.COM
IG @threeladiescafe

Facebook


Date Visited
: October 17, 2019

Need a good place to hang out? I’ve got just the spot, Three Ladies Cafe is filled with tons of natural light, tasty smoothies, and good coffee! But, let me take you through my journey to find TLC. I had just rolled into Davis, California and was in dire need for a good cup of coffee. The sun was shining and my one rule was to find a nice patio to enjoy a coffee. I was heading South on G street when I discovered Three Ladies Cafe. This was perfect, beautiful patio seating under a giant olive tree. I was brewing with excitement because olive trees don’t grow in Maryland. Sometimes it’s the little things that a coffee shop has or does that makes my experience that much better.

Three Ladies Cafe is full of space and an ample amount of natural light. Although the windows had seemed pretty tinted from the outside, they did allow light to flood the shop. They had great-looking menus consisting of food and coffee. I stepped up to the counter and met Michael and Reyna, two super friendly baristas. The smile on their faces expressed just how much they love working here. After making up my mind, I ordered a medium cup of drip coffee with a little room for cream. A customer walked past me carrying a fresh bowl of fruit they had ordered. Then, I heard Reyna say, “Here’s your medium coffee.” I splashed a little 2% milk in the coffee and began reaching for a lid. Suddenly, I was caught off-guard, the lids looked different than any I’ve seen before. I was literally about to ask when Michael then told me, “Aren’t they cool? They’re fully compostable and environmentally friendly.” Now that is pretty sweet, I enjoy meeting coffee shops that are conscious of their impact on the world.

After walking around and checking everything this shop had to offer, I had to interview them. Walking back up to the counter and telling Michael about my travel blog. He told me that TLC is only 2 years young and was started by Beizhi Pan and she has a love for smoothies. In fact, they actually started as a smoothie shop and later introduced coffee and teas. All of the food and produce is sourced locally and they use high-quality ingredients. Beizhi wanted to create an environment that was both friendly and welcoming. I felt exactly that, not to mention the artwork was phenomenal. There’s tons of room to work, play, and/or relax. I thanked them for taking the time to talk to me and headed outside to soak up the sun and relax on the patio. The patio itself was clean and the furniture was nice and sturdy. Sun shining, birds chirping, and sipping coffee, life doesn’t get better than that.

I checked the bathroom out and it was pretty good, gets the job done. They had air plants hanging on the walls, a great subtle touch to a really clean bathroom. For that, I will give the bathroom an 8/10.

Coffee Shop

#28 Old Shasta Coffee Company


Old Shasta Coffee Company

2275 Eureka Way
San Francisco, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 530-768-1561

 

WWW.OLDSHASTACOFFEE.COM
IG @old_shasta_coffee_company

Facebook

 

Date Visited: October 4, 2019

In the town of Redding, California there must be some good coffee, considering there are 91,000 people. Well, guess what, I found it! What better way than a fresh cup of coffee from Old Shasta Coffee Company. I had just driven over 18 hours eastbound on rt. 299 when I happened to stumble upon a sign that read “Coffee.” I did a quick turnaround and parked the van. 

I walked up to the cutest little yellow tables out front and headed inside. I came to fill my craving for coffee and hoped they had something to eat, I was too exhausted to interview today. There was even a couch right when I walked in that was calling my name. I couldn’t wait to plop my butt down on that, so many coffee shops have gotten rid of their comfy couches to make room for more tables. I ordered a medium-dark roast and a black bean burrito. They offered to heat it for me and asked me if I’d like sour cream and salsa on the side. They couldn’t have been friendlier. I stayed for about two hours relaxing and sorting out my future travels. What I enjoyed was listening to the way they accommodated every customer, the same wonderful customer service even minutes before closing. I told them I’d be back tomorrow and headed out.

Fast forward to the next day. I walked in and ordered the same thing. This time I was approached by two different baristas who also displayed great customer service. I knew I had to interview Old Shasta Coffee Company and find out more. I saw a woman behind the counter who seemed to be conducting everything, so I walked up and introduced myself. Her name is Jodi, the co-owner, she was pleased to hear what I was doing. She cleaned up the counter and came over to have a coffee with me.

She told me all about the business. This building used to be an old Thrift store and her and her husband, Eric, jumped on the opportunity when they saw it going out of business. First, they gutted the entire space, ripping up carpet, painting walls, and installing lighting. Second, they worked together to build the counters, the bar, and the ceiling. Most importantly, they made sure to fill the coffee shop with a few of the things they love. Jodi and Eric share a passion for flying. There are photos of them flying planes, little metal planes on the counter, and even a freaking propeller on the back wall! Yet, still holding the cozy, homie, clean vibe that I love to relax and do my coffee reviews in.

Jodi seemed to have this place so figured out, I had to ask her how long they’ve been running OSCC. I was shocked to find out only 8 months. They were doing a phenomenal job. They have local highschoolers put their work in here and offer it to other artists in the area as well. A sandwich shop a few doors down had closed weeks after they opened, so Jodi took it upon herself to make fresh meals inhouse to offer customers. That was a genius move on her part. If you happen to be looking in the case, all the food on the bottom shelf was made in house.

Eric and Jodi had met in Seattle where they were both roasting coffee beans. I guess you could say, their love for coffee brought them together. Eric was such an awesome person to meet as well. He was stoked to take me outside and show me his recent purchase of a 1963 milk truck that was going to be customized to be an Old Shasta Coffee Company mobile coffee truck. How freaking cool!

And to answer your final question… the coffee was delicious! Jodi sought out a dark roast that wouldn’t taste burnt. Instead, it is full of notes and a smooth bold flavor. I tend to change my preferences pretty often but this was the best dark roast I think I’ve ever had. Jodi has even been told that people come here specifically for this dark roast. Refills are only .50¢ so drink up and stay as long as you’d like! I’ll be back to visit. These are two coffee shop owners that I can now call friends.

Their bathroom was clean, fairly large, modern, and has everything you may need. The bathroom key comes on a giant iron fork! I will be ranking this one a perfect 10/10.

Coffee Shop

#27 Sips Coffee


Sips Organic Coffee & More

6771 CA-254
Miranda, CA
Get Directions
Drive-thru Available

Contact: 707-601-8901

 

Date Visited: September 30, 2019

Are you planning to drive through the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County, California? If yes, make sure you visit the cutest little coffee shed. Sips: Organic Coffee & More is located in Miranda, California, as you’re driving through the redwoods. Right when the trees clear, there sits Sips. I pulled the van up at 4:52 PM and discovered that they were closing in only a few minutes. I hurried and ordered a small coffee, I knew it would be nice and warm on this rainy day in the forest.

The barista asked where I was traveling from and I told her Maryland. I asked if it was okay to do a quick write up on Sips: Organic Coffee & More and she said absolutely. The barista’s name was Izzy and she was super helpful considering she was about to close after a long day. Sips is 11 years old and they’re known for making any drink someone wants to order. This was impressive considering I’ve been in many coffee shops that have a fairly strict menu. Their most popular drink right now is the white mocha. Pretty cool to learn that almost half of their customers in the summer are tourists traveling through. You have the option to order from either the drive-thru or walk-up window on the other side. And lastly, they strive to make sure that their coffee is fair-trade, organic, and locally roasted. It was a quick visit but I’m glad I stopped, you will be too.

Sorry, no restroom at this drive-thru.

Coffee Shop

#26 A-Frame Expresso


A-Frame Expresso

1080 S. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA
Get Directions
Drive-thru Available

Contact: 707-964-0199

 

Date Visited: September 30, 2019

Need a quick grab-and-go coffee? You’ve pulled up to the perfect place. This little A-frame cafe knows how to sling coffee! I was heading north on Rt. 1 in Fort Bragg, California when I spotted this little drive-thru cafe. I rolled down my window and before I could read the menu, I was greeted by Carla. She couldn’t be happier! I quickly told her about Find That Coffee and handed her my business card. She replied, “Sweet! This is awesome!”

She asked, “What would you like me to get started and I’ll answer your questions while I’m making it.” She then insisted that I try their signature Monkey Mocha, I said, “I’m down.” Full of chocolate, bananas, and espresso, sounded tasty! I found out that they’re open before every coffee shop in town and stay open later as well. Carla also told me that this is a super fun casual work environment, the employees are able to wear what they want. A-Frame is about 20 years old and they’re known for being quick! And they were, she finished making the perfect looking mocha before I could even finish writing. With a line of cars behind me now, she still calmly asked if I had any more questions without rushing me on. I went to pull out my wallet and she told me it was on the house and fully supports my mission. I was speechless, this was the first free coffee I have been gifted since I started. I thanked Carla a million times and drove away. You must visit, their customer service alone is enough to put a smile on your face. I drank the mocha while driving up the coast on this warm 70-degree day and it was spectacular!

No public restroom, but since it was strictly a drive-thru, I understood.

Coffee Shop

#25 Moody’s Coffee Bar


Moody’s Coffee Bar

10450 Lansing St.
Mendocino, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 707-937-4843

 

WWW.MOODYSCOFFEEBAR.COM
IG @moodyscoffee

Facebook

Date Visited: September 24, 2019

Adjective
Moody: (of a person) given to unpredictable changes of mood, especially sudden bouts of gloominess or sullenness.

Situated in downtown Mendocino, California, Moody’s Organic Coffee Bar was anything but moody! I walked in and met some of the friendliest baristas, Kylee, Ivy, and Apaulo. I placed an order for a medium coffee and was asked if I’d like light or dark roast. They recommended I go with the dark roast. I picked up my hot coffee and carefully began to navigate around the coffee shop and discover what it has to offer. There was a whole separate room on the side where people can sit at tables, booths, or even head out front and sit under the awning. Around the room were some spectacular paintings of mythical creatures. I later came to find out that Apaulo had painted all of these. Great job man! 

Kylee noticed my shirt and complimented it. I told them what I was doing and I quickly got the rundown on the shop. It changed to Moody’s Coffee Bar in 2005 and before that, it was called the Cookie Company. There was a lot of controversy over the real meaning behind the name Moody’s. One story is that the previous owner was divorcing his wife and she was super cranky during the whole process. The second story claims that Moody was the name of the family cow. But, no one really knows the full story, so if you find out more when you visit, make sure you comment below and let me know.

Apaulo walked me around and pointed out the pick-up window which allowed the customers to grab their coffee from the outside, super convenient. And after some placement advice, I slapped a few Find That Coffee stickers on the front window. He showed me their little candy machine that dispenses espresso beans. And a map that allowed customers to put a pin marking where they were visiting from. A super neat idea I plan to have in my coffee shop one day. It was really eye-opening to see how far people have traveled from to stand where I was standing.

The bathroom was nothing short of a janitor’s closet and they apologized right away. But, I’m quickly learning that small coffee shops can easily run out of space. I loved their no trick shot drawing so with that I present them with an 7/10.