What is your favorite independent coffee shop in Sacramento, California?

What is your favorite independent coffee shop in Sacramento, California?

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0 thoughts on “What is your favorite independent coffee shop in Sacramento, California?”

  1. What a delightful and relevant question considering I love coffee, spend much of my free time attempting to study in coffee shops, and have been to most of the coffee shops around midtown Sacramento. Rather than specify one single favorite, please allow me to be more descriptive – every shop has benefits and drawbacks.
    Let me start with saying a well-pulled cappuccino is my favorite. If a shop can’t regularly pull a good cappuccino I get a latte or mocha, or skip coffee. If they can pull a good cappuccino, I often try their skill at pulling a macchiato – those nearly always over extract if pulled by an amateur.
    Shine . They can’t always pull a good cappuccino because the staff are often newly trained 20-somethings putting themselves through school but they try. I don’t fault them for it and neither should you. I know the staff well enough to know when I should order a latte. The food is good and fresh. It’s a good study spot. Staff picks decent music. Downside: because they make proper food aerosolized oil wafts in the air and leaves your clothes smelling for a while. Don’t linger inside with your expensive suit before an important meeting or interview. When they have it, the soups are great.
    Temple. K st & 22nd st is my favorite despite how busy it is, and S/29th is my next favorite. Great cappuccinos. Single origin and seasonal/limited run options. Not my favorite for black coffee. Limited but good tea options – black, green, white, and herbal. When it’s too late for caffeine I sip on the Bliss, which is peppermint, vanilla soy, coconut milk, and honey. Please try it. The pastries are good as well, although I am not keen on the vegan ones. They can do an affogato as well. K/22 is usually so busy a group of 4 would have difficulty finding seating together. On fair weather days even the outdoor tables and benches (and rocks at the sidewalk) are occupied.
    Milka , a very new shop that roasts in 6lb batches run by a young and friendly couple. Espressos have personality, although I’m no good at describing flavor notes. Macchiato was pulled almost right, was just slightly bitter. Good study spot. I expect this place will grow a bit into their bones, and probably source more pastry options. Please check Milka out. At this moment Milka is the most independent coffee shop in Sacramento .
    Pachamama roasters. Quiet spot, good for work and study. Good espresso-based drinks. Solid no-hassle choice. They usually have limited food options.
    Insight . Reliably good. It’s a hair outside of my usual distance, so I seldomly go there.
    Chocolate Fish . These guys are serious about their drinks. What I (and most Americans) call cappuccinos are actually ‘flat whites.’ Know the difference before you order one at Chocolate Fish. They also have nitro cold brew. The effect is a super smooth, low-acid black coffee with the mouth-feel of a Guinness. I don’t like it but give it a shot.

    What is your favorite independent coffee shop in Sacramento, California?

    When I order a cappuccino, what I actually want is the flat white seen above.
    Naked Lounge has untraditional espresso drinks. The Keith Richards, which is espresso with Shasta soda that amazingly tastes like dirt, literally – the two ingredients have nothing dirt-like about them but together they taste like Keith Richards was mistaken for dead and buried in his sleep but he woke up, clawed his way through the ground, and coughed in your mouth. There’s also the Kerouac, which is 4 shots of espresso served cold with condensed milk in a martini glass. Delicious if you love sugar. The Aztec mocha or Mexican hot chocolate, both with chili pepper mixed in are sweet and tasty. I don’t often come here because I rarely want a sweet drink. Has pastry and food options. Good to study or meet friends.
    The Mill makes good espressos and offers kombucha and shrub soda . If you like apple cider vinegar, get the shrub. They’ve started making waffles in-house, so your clothes are going to smell with just a 20 minute stay. The outside seat in the back isn’t very useful except on the finest days.
    Identity coffee and roasting is a very large space mostly reserved for their roasting operation but has fair seating. Good cappuccinos. Excellent pastries. Lots to look at – roasting equipment, novel hardwood furniture, slabs of rootwood on every wall. Good lighting, good study space. Thoughtfully, they provide seltzer water if you have coffee and pastries – often the two wash each other out with a palette cleanser. I don’t personally care but I’m a big fan of attention to detail and considerateness , so I have to give them credit.
    Finally, Old Soul. The one everyone writes about. And I saved it for last because honestly, the coffee isn’t very good. I never get cappuccinos. They taste burnt. Not in a well-roasted, toasted tree nuts with a hint of citrus and floral notes. I mean like someone complimented them on a roast once to be nice and they decided to never deviate from that roast. I hate that I have to say that but more than a few people who consume a lot of coffee agree and you deserve to know in advance. I only get lattes, mochas, chai lattes, lemonade, tea, or iced tea. But I do go to Old Soul for the full kitchen, the pastries, and the work/study environment. The Weatherstone has an outdoor seating area that might drop leaves into your food, so deal with it buttercup. The Alley has almost no outdoor seating, but the indoor seating is expansive for a coffee shop. They roast and bake in the alley, so be prepared for noise and smells. The Weatherstone has bottled kombucha, the Alley has kombucha on tap. It’s good alternative to sugary soda. Despite not liking their coffee, Old Soul is still a strong standby because of the food and study environment.

  2. There can Be Only One: Temple Roasters.
    Oh sure, others are ok—Old Soul for the midtownies, Insight for the hipsters, and Chocolate Fish for the Downtown Wage-Slaves.
    But Temple is above and beyond.

  3. I don’t think it’s independent, but it’s not really a chain either, it’s Temple, the best coffee and loose leaf tea selection around. They serve it in real cups! You can get it to go if you want, but other than not being able to find a seat, why would you. It isn’t loud, the baristas are friendly and so knowledgable about what they have in stock to serve. It is a comfortable place, they have regular little tables and chairs and also couches and deep chairs to sit in. It’s not a big place, but it is worth every penny you spend just to relax and drink some truly wonderful coffee or tea for a little while.

  4. I like to support small business. I don’t know the names but there are two drive thru coffee kiosks I love. One is at Arden and Watt avenues in the Rite Aid parking lot. It has a special mocha called the Black Forest which is yummy!
    The other is at the corner of Fruitridge and Stockton. It also had good flavored mochas cheaper than Starbucks.
    I also used to go to a small shop in a medical building next to my former office at 30th and P street. They made a spicy Mayan mocha with Chile pepper and cinnamon that was delish! The Sac Natural Food Coop also makes great coffee and drinks.
    A friend told me about a new place that just opened in the mall at Watt and El Camino but I haven’t tried it yet.

  5. Laid back, lovely, perfectly brewed cuppa. Temple Coffee Roasters, 2829 S St.Sacramento CA 95816 | 
6am – 11pm | 916.454.1272

  6. Ah! I’m a global traveler and the best coffeehouse (cafe) in the world is in Sacramento. It’s called Espresso Metropolitan (“Metro”). Opened in 1988 and going strong. Metro is in Land Park at 11th Avenue and Freeport Blvd., one block south of downtown from Sac City College.
    Metro is the “Cheers” of coffeehouses.

  7. The place I pick is Rio Java.
    It is in the rural portion in the north part of Sacramento county, but still considered Sacramento area. It is small and a lot of the locals come everyday to trade stories, talk news, and trade townie gossip.
    It is so loved that it still thrives even after a Starbucks opened last year, right across the street!

  8. While there may be other better known, sexy or more popular shops in town, our favorite is Coffee Works on Folsom Blvd. We’ve been going there for years. Their coffee and other products are tasty and fairly priced. They always have rotating art on display from local or indigenous world artists that can be purchased by patrons. And they have coffee club loyalty cards so that after buying 12 pounds of ground coffee for our home espresso maker we get the 13th pound free. That keeps us coming back.

    Victor Allen’s

  9. I really, really like Tiferet – on H and Alhambra, across from McKinley Park. It’s not a fancy place like Temple and places like that; it’s just really nice people and good coffee at fair prices.
    The owners are two sisters and their kind and attentive staff who know everyone who comes in. I always get a good vibe from the place, and it is popular but not so busy that you feel rushed.
    Also, I like going to a locally-owned, black-owned, woman-owned business that is really involved in the community.

  10. Sorry, I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I tend to haunt bakeries more, and in Davis (near Sacramento) the tiny Village Bakery near the train station is my favorite. At Sac State where I teach, we only seem to have chain eateries/drinkeries, and not very great ones.

    Eight O’Clock

  11. I don’t have a favorite independent coffee shop, but I do have a favorite coffee place. Dutch Brothers Coffee is absolutely the best.


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