I have just returned from the most amazing culinary adventure in southern California with so much to talk about that I don't know where to begin. I'm going to start out by sharing one of the things I love about SoCal, great espresso drinks and great ice blendeds! I'm going to tell you about the Groundwork Coffee Company, and some other places.
I will freely admit that I am a Starbucks addict, but when I'm in California I don't usually visit Starbucks unless I'm in need of a quick fix. No, when I'm in southern California, specifically the Venice/Santa Monica/Los Angeles area, I visit The Groundwork Coffee Company on Rose Avenue, just west of Lincoln, and The Coffee Bean.
The reason why I avoid Starbucks is because both Groundwork and The Coffee Bean make better espresso drinks and much better ice blendeds; their ice blendeds make the Starbucks Frappucino seem like a kids drink! Their barristas are also far better at putting a good foam on the lattes and cappuccinos that they crank out. Especially at Groundwork where the foam on their espresso drinks is velvety and creamy, coating the inside of my mouth nicely and making me feel all good inside; they put a nice design in the foam too. Groundwork's espresso roast is also superior to Starbucks with a rich, deep toasted caramel flavor and a nice clean finish. Don't get me wrong, though, I really like Starbucks espresso.
Another reason to love Groundwork Coffee Company is because they are 100% certified organic and support fairly traded coffee farmers. Their roasts are kosher too if you care about that.
Come to think of it, there is one great coffee house in the Boston area that I know of putting out great coffee beverages with the same great velvety foam that I've come to love at Groundwork. This place that I speak of is Lincoln Street Coffee in Newton Highlands. Lincoln Street Coffee has a great bakery lineup and they put together some all-star sandwiches. They also have a kids area in the corner of the shop and encourage parents to come in for a brew with their kids in tow. I definitely don't visit Lincoln Street Coffee enough, I'm going to have to stop in soon for a nice hot reminder of why I love good coffee, great espresso, and delicious, velvety foam.