Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sacramento Super Star Coffee

Dec. 1, 2017
Natural and peaceful holiday decor at The Mill.
One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to visit cafes and roasting plants across the country. Today was the culmination of two days in Sacramento, CA. I have not really visited Sacramento before, but it is a cool town with a "chill" vibe. The tree-lined streets, majestic old homes with porches and gates reminds me of the old south, except Sacramento in late November has lower temperatures. It was a pleasant 55-60 degrees. In a cafe, I overheard two owners of yoga studios discussing business. Even the Uber drivers are relaxed and cheerful, telling stories in foreign accents of how they arrived in Sacramento from the UK or New York City over 10 years ago -- and never left. It's that kind of place.

They have good coffee, too! I stumbled into "The Mill" one morning which typified the sweet, peaceful atmosphere of the city. They were serving up Heart coffee roasted in Portland, OR.
The Mill in downtown Sacramento
Next morning I was able to check out the "Weatherspoon Cafe", which has the look and feel of a hobbit-hole, for those who know and love the J.R.R. Tolkein stories. The fact that they serve coffee here from Sacramento's "Old Soul" coffee roasters seems so perfectly fitting.
Weatherspoon Coffee on 21st St.
A "destination" cafe for me was Chocolate Fish on Folsom. I think I first heard this crazy name for a coffee shop five years ago and I've been wanting to visit ever since. The owners, Edie and Andrew Baker, decided on the name because of their affinity for all things from New Zealand - including the "lucky" chocolate fish candy that is popular there. The store offers a beautiful setting for their Dietrich roaster and large wrap-around espresso bar. Everything speaks of excellence and quality.
Luke and Edward brewing and serving -- when not roasting.
Namesake for the company (from New Zealand)

Beautiful wood accents throughout the cafe.

The Dietrich gets the glitter and glow of a Christmas tree!

A second destination cafe for me was Temple Coffee. I was able to visit two locations. The cafe at 21st and K and the roasting plant and cafe on S Street. The roasting plant is amply out-fitted with a training room and warehouse for some of their coffee. Eton Tsuno, Director of Coffee, tells me they store much of their green coffee in a different location outside of the high-rent downtown area. There is a 60kg roaster in a wooden crate, waiting to make it's debut. Meanwhile, the company runs it's smaller roaster, located in the back of the cafe on S street, six days a week to keep up with demand.

Since I was in town for the International Women's Coffee Alliance board meeting, I was especially impressed to see Temple sells water bottles that support IWCA and for the occasion of our visit, small packets of Panama geisha from Finca Hartman with special IWCA labels.
Temple on K St.

Temple warehouse and training center on S St.

Training center
Temple cafe on S St.
Eton Tsuno, Director of Coffee, Temple Coffee Roasters
Thank you Temple Coffee for your support of the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA).
Panama Geisha - Finca Hartman, fabulous take-home gift for IWCA board members!

Water purchase at Temple supports IWCA!

5 IWCA board members got a tour (L to R: Ruth Ann Church, Mansi Choksi, Mery Santos, Eton Tsuno, Grace Mena, Blanca Castro)

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