Bakers and Baristas

Strong flavorful coffee and delightful but small assortment of croissants and pastries and a few gourmet breakfast sandwiches on the corner of 7th and E in downtown Washington DC.

I broke my vegan diet for this place. It’s across from a Starbucks and yet very busy. The service is sweet and kind and the croissant is delicious.

“Proudly Independent and locally owned” printed on the window reflects the sentiment inside. I’m enjoying the view of the dc anthill marching along outside. City life I have not been immersed in for some time. I miss it. It’s an oasis.

I’m in heaven right here.

In search of the best coffee ever.

Mara Pottery Mug with DaisyWhen was the last time you had a truly good cup of coffee? Not one that is laden with syrups and chemicals to fool your brain into thinking it’s good. I’m talking about a fill your mouth, smooth, acidic balanced by slightly sweet and nutty, satisfying cup of joe. They are so hard to find. I’ve had many cups on the run and those last minute keurig pods to get my caffeine fix but it’s been a while since I just had a really yummy hot cup of coffee so good I could drink it black. I encourage you to embark on a journey. Find that special cup of heaven that when you sip you feel at peace, like the world is a wonderful place. Let me know what you discover. What kind of coffee, grind, process and location. Include the #stacyscoffeeandtea or comment on this post and I’ll show them here on my blog and website and enter you into a drawing. On February 29thm one lucky winner will be chosen to receive a free mug from our stash. Happy sipping!

A Flagstaff Institution…Macy’s European Coffee House

  Well, I can cross one more off the “need to go to in my lifetime.” There it was, Macy’s in flagstaff. It is exactly what you expect. This place puts the hip in hippie. The iconic long haired barista, on-site roasted beans and fresh tea blends lined up in a row of jars makes it warm and friendly.

   

  

 The amazing super large photographs on the walls make it cool and eclectic. That’s hard to pull off both. A flagstaff institution since 1980, they have fresh baked everything from bagels to sandwiches to pizza. My cappuccino was the perfect blend of not too bitter espresso exquisitely blended with frothy milk to almost overflowing. Perfectly balanced, but they make it look easy. My companion’s hot chocolate was lovely. Smooth and sweet. They have everything you want in a place like this and maintain the authentic vibe. They have clearly been doing this a long time but still love what they do. Time to just sit and enjoy. Free wifi too. 

Hot Summer Treat

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Packards Coffee is a tiny shop in Ramona, California. The building is an old 1930’s gas station turned coffee shop with outdoor seating. If you are ever in the neighborhood, you shouldn’t miss it. There are some some photos on the walls from famous people who’ve stopped there, as well as postcards from around the world. If you love a small town atmosphere, roadside kitch and coffee house coffee, then this is the place.

(Full disclosure: It’s right near my shop so I’m a regular.) I normally get an Organic Blue Sky coffee with a little almond milk.  A smooth dark roast with a bit of an edge, it’s a perfect pick-me-up for those mornings I’m not feeling it. On a hot summer day, when I need something sweet, I order the Alaskan. It’s a special frozen mocha that will cure any sweet tooth.

Today, I was talking to the owner and she mentioned something new, so of course I had to have it. Simple, yet genius! Frozen Mocha meets Banana Smoothie in a dark alley and BAM! This drink has the best of both. Ask for the Frozen Banana Mocha. Real espresso, frozen blended banana smoothie and rich chocolate. Nothing here comes in powder form. All the ingredients are the real deal and the prices are way better than the chain stores.

They are also known for their flavored red bulls, the Ramonan (mocha, cinamon, nutmeg) as well as Italian Sodas and free wi-fi.

If you are lucky enough to be here on the weekends, they serve crepes, both savory and sweet. All fresh ingredients, made to order makes for a long line, but it’s worth the wait.

They don’t have a website but you can follow them on Facebook or Yelp.

Packards Coffee – 680 Main Street, Ramona, CA 92065  (760) 789-4262 

Packards

Coffee and Art

There is a little shop, tucked into a high rise building on the edge of the Gaslamp District in San Diego. It does not have much of a footprint, but the disproportionate height of the ceiling makes it feel a bit bigger. The walls are covered in paintings and works by ever changing artists varying in both style and quality. Art is art, right? On my most recent trip I strayed from my usual chai latte and had the peach iced tea. This is NOT something that comes out of a package or box. It was amazing. The real peach juice added a smooth flavor to the tang of the black tea, making it the perfect blend it was meant to be. Very refreshing on an unusually hot summer day. In a town that is becoming more commercial by the minute, I hope you make it to this European style coffee house. (The drink in the picture is iced coffee from a previous visit. The book is one I was reviewing for the shop. I didn’t like it.)

Coffee and Art 777 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (corner of 6th & F)

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