Café Society: 20+ Cool Coffee Shops
● By Tara Mendanha
Someone once said: “When life gives you lemons, trade them for coffee.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’ve rounded up the cutest cafés and best brews in the neighborhood to brighten your day. All you have to do is make a list and sip your way around town, one caffeinated cup at a time. In no particular order…
Bloom Coffee and Tea
1485 Eureka Road, Suite 100, Roseville, 916-773-2332, bloomcoffee.com
Bloom is the place to be, if you like baristas who know their brew, and an ambiance that’s casual and chic. Artists’ works are featured on their walls and they even host “Get Your Game On” every Thursday from 7-9 p.m., where you can make new friends, bond over cards and board games, and get 15 percent off beverages. Now that’s a sweet deal. What’s more, they offer a variety of sumptuous sandwiches, house-made pastries (vegan and gluten-free options, too) and herbal blend drinks. Look hard for their “secret menu” (hint: mirrors may be involved) and their seasonal offerings—there’s enough pumpkin and spice to go around. Sign up to receive text alerts for deals and Happy Hour offerings.
Eat: Herb and Cheese Scone
Drink: Pooh Bear (iced honey latte with espresso, vanilla syrup and milk)
The Fig Tree
222 Vernon Street, Roseville, 916-771-7010, figtreecoffee.com
The Fig Tree is warm and inviting—much like their famous specialty drinks and perfectly crafted espresso concoctions. They brew and serve beans from Sacramento’s Naked Coffee Roasting, with their own “Roseville flair,” so you know this is good stuff. They also serve fresh and yummy food from Mama T’s Treasure Box and Randy Peters Catering. What’s more, there’s art for sale on the walls, live music performances, a large community jigsaw puzzle, board games and more, so you’ll never get bored, hungry or thirsty. Coffee and community blend together well here, and there’s always excitement brewing.
Eat: Vegan Cocoa Muffin
Drink: White Heat Mocha (espresso, white chocolate, vanilla sweetener, steamed milk)
6610 Folsom-Auburn Road, Folsom, 916-987-8001, coffeerepublicfolsom.com
Travel the world, one coffee bean at a time at one of Folsom’s favorite cafés: Coffee Republic. Here you can taste coffee from Sumatra, France, Panama or Papua New Guinea…to name a few. A variety of teas, gourmet sandwiches, salads and other delicacies are also on offer. Choose from regular, soy, hemp, almond, rice or coconut milk—the options are endless. Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating means you can easily pass time by people watching or studying. Get yourself a rewards card (after 10 of the same drink the 11th is free), avail of the free Wi-Fi and drink from their infused water station. This comfortable locale has lots of character and will definitely keep you coming back for more.
Eat: Quiche Lorraine
Drink: Tiramisu Latte (espresso, tiramisu syrup, steamed milk)
Ettore’s Bakery and Café
390 North Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, 916-822-2190, ettores.com/locations/roseville
When it comes to perfect pairings, nothing beats coffee and confections. Luckily, longtime Fair Oaks favorite Ettore’s—a European bakery owned by Swiss-born Ettore Ravazzolo and his wife Meggan-Rush Ravazzolo, and known around the region for their beloved burger on a cheddar-scallion bun—has opened a new brick-and-mortar in Roseville. In addition to customized cream puffs, seasonal macarons and other scratch-made baked goods that you can watch being crafted, the 8,500-square-foot interactive café also serves java from Temple Coffee Roasters (free refills!) and boasts full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. Whether dining upstairs, down or outside on their spacious patio, there’s plenty of places to pull up a seat and get cozy…and caffeinated.
Eat: Swiss Muesli
Drink: Blended Coffee Glacier (two shots of espresso, dark chocolate and milk blended with ice)
Shady Coffee and Tea
325 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville, 916-742-4117, shadycoffeeandtea.com
Kick back and relax at this neighborhood hangout, where the people are nice and the coffee, nicer. Lounge on their patio and listen to live music on Saturday evenings, or belt out tunes at their open mic events on Friday nights. You can even purchase art by local artists. If you’re in a hurry to fix your coffee cravings, pick your pick-me-up at their drive-thru station and be on your merry way. Gluten-free goodies are offered (their pastries are fresh and homemade) and their menu has a bevy of beverages including brown sugar, caramel and hazelnut lattes, hot chocolate, and beer and wine—so you’ll never go thirsty again.
Eat: Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Drink: Affogato (vanilla bean ice cream topped with espresso and chocolate covered espresso beans)
Depoe Bay Coffee Company
893 High Street, Auburn, 530-889-1021, depoebaycoffee.com
This coffee shop offers breakfast, lunch (salads and sandwiches) smoothies and some killer coffee. They roast their own beans (check out the huge roaster inside) that you can actually purchase online and have delivered to your home. Choose from a full-bodied Depoe Bay Special, bold Mountain Blend with a sweet finish, medium roast Major Buzz, dark roast Twilight Blend and more. Swing by for “$2 Monday” and get a regular 16-ounce specialty drink for only $2! Their muffins, donuts, pastries and bagels are a good accompaniment to any of these house roasts, so do like Depoe Bay suggests, and drop by to hang out or take out.
Eat: Chocolate Croissant
Drink: Peanut Butter Blended Mocha (real peanut butter, chocolate powder, chocolate syrup, espresso and milk blended with ice; topped with whipped cream)
Fourscore Coffee House
325 Lincoln Street, Roseville, 916-390-0367, fourscorecoffee.com
At Fourscore, you can have your coffee strong, with a healthy dose of activism on the side. For when you patronize this coffee shop, you also help fight human trafficking. They have a lot of cool swag available for purchase (who knew Abraham Lincoln would look so good in sunglasses?) and you can also buy a bag of Valiant Coffee beans to go—try the robust Stout Heart blend or the savory Valiant Espresso Blend. Fourscore offers coconut, almond and hemp dairy alternatives. Fans and frequent patrons can avail of the rewards card program where you score tons of freebies for varying levels of loyalty.
Eat: Cronut (only available Saturdays)
Drink: Maple Latte (espresso, maple syrup, steamed milk; part of the “secret” menu)
Auburn Coffee Company
1425 Lincoln Way, Auburn, 530-613-6500, auburncoffeecompany.com
Auburn Coffee Company boasts a kombucha bar, handcrafted espresso drinks and fresh, locally sourced pastries. They also promise entertainment in the form of music performances and art displays. Sit out on their heated patio with Fido and enjoy a cup of their organic coffee in front of the majestic Placer County Superior Court. Their coffee list includes full-bodied Columbian, floral Peruvian, spicy Guatamalan and smooth Sumatran. Something new is always brewing at this coffee shop, and guess what—they make their own coconut, cashew and almond milk. They also carry Peerless Coffee and Tea and serve up sweet and savory scones, muffins, cookies and more, so you’re always in good company.
Eat: Tomato Gouda Scone
Drink: Café au Lait (drip coffee topped with steamed milk)
The Flower Farm Café
4150 Auburn Folsom Road, Loomis, 916-652-5661, flowerfarminn.com/services3
The Flower Farm is famed for its beautiful locale, amid a citrus orchard surrounded by green lawns and a large vegetable garden. This place is also home to a nursery, gift shop, barn and a wine tasting room. Their café serves breakfast and lunch, using quality ingredients (organic eggs, bread, granola, etc.). Their pastries, bread, cookies and other treats are highly coveted too, as is their French toast and veggie omelet. Sit outside by the pond and enjoy the flora and fauna while sipping on a mocha (they offer dairy-free almond and coconut milk) or a mimosa; and later, try your hand at the bocce ball court.
Eat: Raspberry and White Chocolate Scone
Drink: Black and White Mocha (espresso, white chocolate powder, chocolate sauce, vanilla syrup, steamed milk)
La Bou Bakery and Café
4110 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-791-2142; 46801 Five Star Boulevard, Rocklin, 916-315-0351; 1730 Santa Clara Drive, Roseville, 916-783-4387, labou.com
It all began 35 years ago with warm, homemade croissants that locals lined up for. Now, with fresh croissants still on the menu, La Bou has locations all over the Sacramento region. Their breakfast and lunch menus include sandwiches, pastries, gourmet salads, specialty wraps and more. They also offer daily soup specials, along with regular flavors like the beloved creamy tomato bisque. With plenty of seating for dining in, including a patio at all three locations, quick service, and strong, aromatic espresso drinks—crafted using beans from notable San Francisco roaster, Capricorn Coffees—it’s a perfect spot for some midday fuel.
Drink: Thai Iced Tea (Thai tea, sugar, half and half)
Whole Foods Coffee Bar
1001 Galleria Boulevard, Roseville, 916-781-5300, wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/roseville
The next time you’re buying wholesome, organic and consciously sourced food, why not end your shopping spree with some good coffee? You can get whatever your heart desires at the coffee bar at Whole Foods Market, including lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and Americanos, made from Allegro Coffee that’s organic and fair trade. If you’d like, you can have your perfectly crafted coffee with the soy, almond or coconut milk they offer. Good coffee requires a good pastry—which is why they also serve delectable, freshly made offerings that run the gamut from vegan donuts and croissants to cheese Danishes. What more could you ask for?
Eat: Vegan Donut
Drink: Espresso Blend (espresso, vanilla powder, vanilla syrup and milk blended with ice; topped with whipped cream)
32 Degrees Ice Shavery and Teas
2164 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 206, Rocklin, 916-899-6688, facebook.com/32degreesrocklin
32 Degrees is every sugar-lover’s paradise. They’ve got all sorts of fun beverages and desserts like shave ice (including halo-halo), smoothies, bubble milk and iced teas, and ice creams. The choice of flavored drinks is endless, and you’ll have to keep going back to try them all. Their most decadent dessert is the brick toast, which consists of a hollowed out block of bread, filled with toasted bread cubes, ice cream and a host of delightful sauces, fruit, nuts and candy. If that wasn’t tempting enough, they also offer specials (check their Facebook page) that include discounts and freebies. Every item on their menu is an adventure—what will your next one be?
Eat: Matcha Brick Toast (green tea ice cream, bread brick toast topped with whipped cream, marshmallows and bananas)
Drink: White Chocolate Boba Mocha (espresso, white chocolate, steamed milk, boba pearls)
Origin Coffee and Tea
2168 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 105, Rocklin, 916-787-5676, origincoffee.org
End human trafficking one coffee cup at a time at Origin in Rocklin. They’re as serious about the cause as they are about their coffee. Baristas comprise of volunteers and their specialty coffee is consciously sourced, so that every sip you take is “one cup closer to freedom.” Apart from pour-over coffee and espresso shots, they also serve kombucha, tea and hot chocolate. Open mic nights happen occasionally and you can enjoy free Wi-Fi while relaxing in their modern interiors or rustic outdoors. They’re open seven days a week, so go on over and settle in to a steaming cup and worthy cause.
Eat: Peach Vanilla Scone
Drink: Hazelnut Latte
6831 Lonetree Boulevard, Suite 101, Rocklin, 916-521-9728, facebook.com/hootcoffee
Newly renovated HOOT Coffee is now better than before and can house everyone and their grandma. Bring the family over for some giant Connect Four or leisurely peruse art for sale. Feast on nitro coffee or kombucha, in addition to some fun specialty drinks (Samoa Mocha, anyone?). Try their small batch (12 ounce or one pound) specialty roasted coffees and you won’t regret it. Tune in to their Facebook page and find out the latest goings on; from open mic events to art shows, they’re all a hoot!
Eat: Pull-Apart Caramel Cinnamon Roll
Drink: Rob’s Special (espresso, white chocolate, caramel, steamed milk)
*Due to some unforeseen zoning and occupancy issues, HOOT was temporarily closed at press time, but scheduled to reopen on December 1. Please call ahead before visiting.
The Human Bean of Rocklin
2401 Coppervale Drive, Rocklin, 916-899-6675, facebook.com/coffeerocklin
This double drive-thru stand with a walk-up window is not only convenient for a quick caffeine fix, but also creative when it comes to their offerings. They source their coffee directly from farms in places like Malawi, Guatamala and India, and their menu consists of a bevy of breves, many mochas, classics like the Americano and even kiddo-approved drinks like a flavored steamer (steamed milk flavored with premium syrups). Drinks are often served with a chocolate-covered espresso bean (or two), making them all the more special. Almond, soy, rice and coconut milk are available. November is when they have their “Mochas for Men” fund-raiser where a dollar from every mocha supports local men’s health. Call for mo(cha) details.
Eat: Be-Bop Biscotti Hazelnut Zebra
Drink: Irish Cream Breve (espresso, Irish cream syrup, frothy half and half)
The Whistle Stop Café
605 Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 120, Lincoln, 916-409-2777, thewhistlestoplincoln.com
This little café in Lincoln is home to homemade food, good coffee and a cozy vibe. Breakfast is always a good idea, and you can come by any day of the week for some. Chow down on egg-filled burritos, croissants, omelets, waffles and more. And to wash it all down, they serve quite a few gourmet specialty drinks. Try the Elvis Presley (vanilla ice cream blended with peanut butter, banana and chocolate) or The Whistler (white chocolate and espresso) to satisfy your cravings. Top it all off by having an old-fashioned hot fudge sundae or root beer float.
Eat: Asparagus and Ham Quiche
Drink: Gladding McBean Shake (vanilla ice cream blended with chocolate and espresso, topped with whipped cream and a chocolate-covered espresso bean)
Edwin’s Coffee and Tea
2600 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 108, Rocklin, 916-632-9753
Edwin and his team are known for being friendly, remembering names and making excellent coffee. They roast and grind their own beans (Ed’s Bodacious Blend for the win) so you’re always sipping the freshest and finest cup of joe each morning. To go along with their bomb beverages—including hot chocolate and a variety of teas—they also offer pastries that are fresh from the oven and swell sandwiches for something more filling. Open seven days a week, they have outdoor seating and free Wi-Fi. Let the scent of roasting beans and sumptuous muffins draw you in…you’re bound to stay a while.
Eat: Butterscotch Muffin
Drink: Iced White Mocha (espresso, white chocolate, milk)
6850 Five Star Boulevard, Rocklin, 916-780-1873, destinycommunity.org/cafe
Destiny serves up coffee with a cause. Every purchase at their café helps fund their support programs for the community. The fact that they serve award-winning Temple Coffee is an added bonus. They’re open seven days a week so you can indulge in cold brews, lattes and mochas at any time. Fine artisan pastries like cinnamon rolls and croissants are made daily and bound to keep you content. Swing by the stylish café to hang out and relax with friends, family or colleagues.
Eat: Chocolate Croissant
Drink: Café Misto (espresso, steamed milk)
The Acoustic Den Café
10271 Fairway Drive, Suite 120, Roseville, 916-412-8739, theacousticdencafe.com
This is one place you should frequent, if you want to meet like-minded people, listen to quality acoustic music and have a rollicking good time. Check out The Acoustic Den Café’s website calendar to find performances, sing-alongs and open mic nights. They also dish out food and drinks to go with the entertainment; choose from sliders, cheesecake and wraps to tea, hot chocolate and coffee. Lovers of jazz, blues, Americana and the classics will revel in this upbeat atmosphere teeming with local talent. Visit the Den to see (and hear) for yourself.
Eat: Carrot Loaf
Drink: Drip Coffee
Argos Coffee Roasters
195 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-293-8256, argoscaffe.com
Wake up and smell the coffee at Argos Coffe Roasters. If you’re lucky, you’ll come by when they’re roasting their beans in-house, making sure you always get the freshest coffee around. Their pastries come from Grateful Bread Co. in Sacramento and are equally coveted. Calling itself the first espresso bar of its kind in Folsom, this tall claim is laid to rest once you taste Argos’ offerings. Join their coffee club and be exposed to the world of artisanal coffee. Try the Bali Blue Moon with notes of brown sugar, jasmine, lime and caramel or the Guatemala Quiché with its notes of dark chocolate, caramel and blackberry. Watch their Facebook page for occasional music performances and special offers.
Eat: Cinnamon Swirl Toast with Almond Butter
Drink: Caramel Latte (espresso, steamed milk and house-made caramel)
The Ugly Mug Café
3589 Taylor Road, Loomis, 916-652-5241, uglymugloomis.com
This place boasts of “home-style grub with a flair”—and you better believe it. Pay a visit here just to look at all the “ugly” mugs. It’s worth the trip! Their hearty food is pretty good, too. They use locally grown ingredients and have a seasonal menu that satisfies, with dishes like corned beef hash and eggs, a country-style benedict and black bean burrito. You can sit inside or outside and quench your thirst with espresso, a vanilla latte, mocha, milkshake, wine and beer. Whaddaya know…ugly mugs can hold yummy things, too!
Eat: Breezy’s Sinful Cinnamon French Toast
Drink: Americano (espresso, hot water)
771 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville, 916-746-7799, nuggetmarket.com
Nugget is a popular addition to the community—not only for their quality groceries, but for the coffee and juice bar where they offer a variety of espresso drinks, pastries, smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices and plenty of seating in a welcoming atmosphere. For an additional fee, add coconut, almond or soy milk, syrups or an extra shot of espresso. If you’re in charge of bringing pastries into the office, grab a “pastry platter,” which includes your choice of freshly baked bagels, croissants and danishes. It’s easy to grab a coffee and pastry for the road, but if you have time to spare, take your order upstairs or outside to their patio.
Eat: Almond Croissant
Drink: Cold Brew
Local Coffee Cocktails
Sienna Wake-Uptini (vanilla vodka, espresso, Kahlúa, Bailey’s Irish Cream and vanilla simple syrup) from Sienna Restaurant in Roseville and El Dorado Hills, siennarestaurants.com
Coffee Colada (vanilla vodka, coconut cream, espresso, spiced brown sugar and caramel) from Bar 101 Eats and Drinks in Roseville, bar101roseville.com
Chocolate Martini (vodka, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and Bailey’s Irish Cream) from Bacchus House Bistro in Folsom, bacchushousebistro.com
Chocolate Flirtini (vanilla bean vodka, Irish cream, espresso liqueur, raspberry liqueur and dark shredded chocolate) from Sauce'd Cocktail House in El Dorado Hills, saucedcocktailhouse.com
Double-Shot Espresso Martini (360 Organic vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlúa Especial and espresso) from The Independent Restaurant and Bar in Placerville, independentplacerville.com
Espresso: Very hot water is pressured through finely ground beans to make one ounce of strong, concentrated coffee
Americano: An espresso diluted with hot water
Italiano: A 1:1 ratio of espresso and hot water; also known as a short Americano
Cappuccino: Equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk foam
Cortado/Gibraltar: An espresso cut with warm milk; cortado is of Spanish origin, whereas “Gibraltar” was invented in San Francisco and simply refers to the type of tumbler it is served in.
Latte: An espresso with steamed milk and topped with milk foam.
Flat White: Similar to a latte, but creamier due to the use of microfoam (very small bubbles in steamed milk)
Did You Know?
The genus coffea is native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. The plant was originally exported from Africa to countries around the world, and coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries.
The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen.
The word "coffee" entered the English language in 1582 via the Dutch koffie, borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from the Arabic qahwah.
During the Revolutionary War, the demand for coffee increased so much that dealers had to hoard their scarce supplies and raise prices dramatically; this was also due to the reduced availability of tea from British merchants, and a general resolution among many Americans to avoid drinking tea following the 1773 Boston Tea Party.
Beans from different countries or regions can usually be distinguished by differences in flavor, aroma, body and acidity. These taste characteristics are dependent not only on the coffee's growing region, but also on genetic subspecies (varietals) and processing. Varietals are generally known by the region in which they are grown, such as Colombian, Java and Kona.
The two most commonly grown beans are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and hardier robusta. Arabica coffee beans are cultivated mainly in Latin America, Eastern Africa and Asia; while robusta beans are grown in Central Africa, throughout Southeast Asia, and Brazil.
Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.
Seeds are decaffeinated when they’re still green. Many methods can remove caffeine from coffee, but all involve either soaking the green seeds in hot water (often called the "Swiss water process") or steaming them, then using a solvent to dissolve caffeine-containing oils.