Cafe Joy

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Cafe Joy was the surprise of my early morning trip into Pleasanton. I was looking for a place to sit and read for an hour when I happend upon this unsuspecting spot in the middle of a strip mall. I walked in and it was a pretty typical spread; a nice pastry case with food stuffs, a nice two-group La Spazziale, and standard brewing equipment along with “only worthy of second wave” sandwiches and smoothies. I immediately picked up on two alluring elements; they roast their own coffee in a small batch roaster and the shop is run by a husband and wife.

While I know that large companies and artisan third wave shops are not the only people who roast their own beans, for whatever reason, I was almost surprised that such a discreet cafe would go to such lengths. Maybe it was for quality, maybe they just liked doing their own roasting. The small batch roaster was a joy to observe, especially since I would be enjoying a cup of the house blend. A nice “extra” for the customer.

The older couple, who were enjoying a home made lunch, picked up on my interest and engaged me about roasting. It was soon apparent that they were not American and our conversation was limited to home roasting, exchanging smiles, and saying that I liked their store. After a few minutes, I went over to look at the beans and the husband motioned me closer with a big smile. “Vienna?” “Yes, yes! We like Vienna roasts.” That was the extent of our exchanges. After spending a quiet 10 minutes watching the roaster with them, they brought me some food from their lunch. Homemade bread, honey, and walnuts. So incredibly nice, very tasty.

The coffee was not notable, likely sitting in the carafe for quite some time. So then, why would I write about a place like Cafe Joy? It has been a very long time since I have stumbled across a “gem” like this place, somewhere that is so homey and customer oriented. While the quality of their product may not be in congruence with contemporary trends, they have good equipment, take the time to roast their own beans, and do their best to get by. Call me a sucker, but I am partial to “mom and pop” places. Cute, straight forward, cozy.

I liked:

  • House Roasting
  • Walnuts
Cafe Joy
5321 Hopyard Rd
Ste G
(at Owens Dr)
Pleasanton, CA 94588(925) 225-0150
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