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Sidewalk Coffee Series: Santa Cruz, California~ Saturn Cafe

I have decided to become a coffee snob. Truth be told, on any given day I will and have ordered and sipped coffee from fast food joints, gas stations, and out of those forbidden machines at any random 24 hour rest stop and have actually enjoyed it! I am admittedly coming out of the obscurity of drinking random, commercialized and manufactured beanery to a more discerning taste which reflects my coming of age (I just turned 50) and actively becoming more socially aware of the choices of coffee I make and why.
Also, before I share my first experience with trying one of my most favorite drinks at an independently owned coffeehouse and after coming to terms with my age and my evolving taste buds I must first set the parameters of which I will engage in this search and quest for the java that jams! Foremost, it has to be a stark contrast to how, when and why I partake. No more driving up, convenience or coffee chains, and way more free/fair trade, fair and environmentally responsible and sound.

Let’s also establish that coffee has become a good friend in the morning or early afternoon as the caffeine is just the jumpstart I need as I strive for that boost of clarity in my work as a consultant juggling multiple tasks, lists and errands. Another benefit is that I travel as a part of my work and sometimes the road can get monotonous. So, my plan will be to locate a small coffeehouse within walking distance of my hotel and stroll there to order my cup of joe. I will journal the taste, my in house experience and record the sights, sounds and smells! I am so excited!

My first experience on this journey of becoming the coffee snob I have always wanted to be was a trip to Santa Cruz, California. I stayed at a chain hotel fairly close to the downtown area. I walked approximately 4,000 steps one way to my desired destination. The first lesson I learned is that not all cafes specialize in coffee. This place was quaint and nestled on a quiet corner but adjacent were my favorite kind of self-care stores full of sage, crystals, tie-dyed clothing and incense! I was in my element! It was certainly not a surprise to me that the cafe was named after Saturn, where the stars and solar worlds meet and clash and beam and glow. The streets on my way to the cafe where also lined with moon and stars, astrology and religion, rocks, wood and nature. I enjoyed this walk!

So the coffee was organic, local and from fair trade! I am winning! Tres America was the brand and the taste was boldly smooth, earthy and took very well to cream and Splenda (look do not judge me, I am working up to trying other exciting sweeteners!) The environment was laid back and really cool, the average corner greasy spoon was more like it and I prefer so I had a dandy time! The service was amazing and the view out the window was equally pleasing. By the way, I tried the coffee hot and on ice and they both were pretty good! Wait, am I supposed to do that with the same brand of coffee? Snobs, fight me. LOL!
Well, this is my first try at it, and I will continue to try and visit more cafes, coffee houses and baristas while I am on the road…I hope my sidewalk coffee stories will encourage readers to get some steps in, reflect on local beauty and business and taste the best coffee ever! I am not a coffee snob yet but I am too excited about what the future holds in becoming one!
Sip on,
Kalimah

(Guest blogger)

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4thebest.clickondetroit.com

4thebest.clickondetroit.com

Avalon International Breads~ The Sweet Spot in Mid- Town~Detroit Michigan

Avalon has become one of my favorite places to visit in Detroit. It is a great meeting place with a rustic, but welcoming atmosphere.  They have the best brewed coffee. The Latte is the creamiest you will find in Mid Town Detroit.  Not only is it smooth and creamy, but its bold flavor paired with its creamy texture offers a perfect balance and finish.  Now, I am not typically one for iced coffee, but Oh My Goodness is their’s good? Yes!!!  It has a unique velvety texture that makes for an enjoyable treat on a hot summer day.

While I must admit that initially I went there for the coffee, their organic baked goods are amazing!  The Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie is completely Insane! Other favorites are the, Cranny Granny Muffin, Brioche, Brownie, Peanut butter and the Molasses Cookies.

Again,  I love the rustic atmosphere and the personable service is unique. Avalon International Breads is a staple in Detroit’s Mid-Town and is a favorite among many.

Avalon Bakery ~ http://www.avalonbreads.net/goodies/breads/

Coffee Love,

Alicia