The Verve Coffee Roasters 41st

Verve and Santa Cruz can’t go together in the same sentence without the word “outstanding.” Whether this refers to their beans, drinks, facilities, or staff, Verve is one of the best coffee companies in California. There is no denying that. Their level of popularity and prestigue is seldom achieved by anyone. My individual experience and personal…

Companion Bakeshop’s 1st Year Anniversary

Although Companion Bakers and the heart of the operation, owner Erin Lampel, have been putting out the finest breads and baked goods in the Santa Cruz area for several years, Companion’s formal storefront is only one year young. In that short span of time, Erin and partner Jeremy have radically transformed the old Beckman’s facility…

Coffee+Pastry Pairing with Companion Bakeshop, Part 2: Savory Pastries

The long awaited follow up article to our successful food+coffee pairing with Companion Bakeshop. This article is focused on savory pastries; ones that are not sweet but buttery, salty, hearty, among other things. Again, we are pairing these delicious goods with a cappuccino and coffee to see what kinds of wonderful flavor combinations we can find. Companion…

Sentinel Cafe

Nestled away in the new Cruzio/Sentinel building is a gem of a shop just asking to be discovered. While this modest operation is put on through the efforts of Cafe Delmarette and Verve, it can stand on its own as a benchmark in local coffee. Whether it is the quality of the ingredients in use or…

Cafe Bene

Bene is a unique spot in town because it is different from the other shops in the area. It offers an older, moderately priced, laid back atmosphere that seems far more focused on creating a space than producing top quality products. The atosmphere is “homey” to say the least; it feels like you walked into…

The Filling Station

I saw the Filling Station almost every day when I went to and from campus, to work, or around town since it is on such a highly traveled corner of Mission Street. I was always curious about whether or not this was a “legit” coffee spot since it always seemed to be changing on the outside….

“The Kick” from Lulu Carpenter’s at the Octagon

“The Kick”was the brainchild of a few guys at Lulus who wanted to do something special with peppers. “The Kick” as it is today is the result of many hours of trial and error. Rather than resorting to prepackaged or processed ingredients, Sam wanted to rely on real, wholesome, fresh ingredients. Sam cooks a lot…

Cafe Iveta

Iveta’s style was a really refreshing departure from what I have been reviewing lately. While I love drinking coffee on a daily basis, routine can get stale for anyone. Iveta is a nice little spot off the beaten path that features Italian style “dry” caps rather than what most would consider normal “wet” ones. While…

Cafe Delmarette

I can’t, for the life of me, ever say this store’s name correctly. My friends have been going here for years and I have tried it a few times in the past, but I decided to do a review for the site recently. As a disclaimer, Cafe Delmarette seems to be more of a food/lunch…

Verve Roasting Facility

  The Verve Roasting Facility deserves its own review because it was such a wonderful experience. I had been here once before when it first opened. A buddy of mine who works for them showed me some of the facility, the competition room, and their walk up bar. Great place; gorgeous and hip, like all…

Coffee+Pastry Pairing with Companion Bakeshop, Part 1: Sweet Pastries

Erin, one of the owners of Companion Bakeshop, approached me with a novel idea; pairing coffee/cappaccinos with pastries like wine and cheese. I thought it was just brilliant, coffee shops and specialty bakeries are becoming such mainstream culinary staples, why shouldn’t we take pairing seriously? I bounced the idea around and got a lot of…

Synesso Cyncra

After our store got ahold of the Synesso Hydra, our buddies at Companion Bakeshop in Santa Cruz were stoked. As I have stated before, Synesso makes top quality equipment that has tech/coffee guys talkin about their products around the water cooler… or I guess the Bunn boiler. So, our friends decided to upgrade their espresso…