When it comes to going overboard there’s one delectable drink I won’t ever feel guilty having another cup of. Have you already guessed it? Oh, wait, my title gave it away. JAVA. JAVA. JAVA. Honestly, I haven’t had enough coffee today to be doing this post justice. Hit Pause.
Okay, I’m back, reporting in from the local coffee shop. Ahh thats better. Writing a post about coffee without coffee? Well that’s just wrong.
You say the word coffee and I’m there. I’m not alone, riiiiiight?!?!
So Coffee Crawl you say? Here’s my espresso advice on a killer fun day of coffee shop hopping.
How to Plan the Ultimate Coffee Crawl
Step One: Do your research.
I love finding new coffee shops to check out. I start by googling coffee shop locations and then look them up on social media. Instagram is my favorite place to scout out potential shops.No one knows the best shops like the locals! I love cool atmospheres and pay attention to the vibe of the shop. I look for what kind of images are getting shared and what people are saying about it. I find this is a great way to get a feel for the shop and how much people like it. Now I’m not saying to be a coffee snob, but for the love of coffee, skip the chain coffee shops on a crawl. Go local, small business, and specialty!
Hitting three shops on a coffee crawl is my favorite number. Two just doesn’t do a crawl justice and anything over three will probably have you in a coffee comatose. So find your shops, preview them on social media and map your route out.
Step Two: Be prepared to drink a whole lot of coffee.
DUH! No seriously though. You’ll be checking out coffee shops and of course drinking coffee. Its important to be prepared for some serious caffeine intake. Bring and drink plenty of water. Partner your coffee with healthy snacks and plan to grab a bite to eat along the way. I love that most coffee shops also carry a variety of tasty treats. Some shops serve healthy smoothie bowls and even oatmeal! If you’re on a budget bringing your food along is a great option. This is also a great way to check out a restaurant if you need some serious sustenance during your crawl. A ton of coffee and no hydration or food is not to be advised.
Step Three: Make it social.
Recruit friends to go on the crawl with you. This is a social event so gather your peeps to come along for the fun. Hopefully they love coffee just as much as you, but even the non coffee drinkers are welcome. No matter the level of love for coffee I find these days to be filled with my favorite conversations. Make it about the experience and simply being together.
Step Four: Linger.
This outing will take at least half of your day so plan accordingly. Take your time at each shop and just savor those cups of coffee. The object of the day is to enjoy it in a leisurely fashion. Be in the moment. Leave the to do list and errands for another day.
Step Five: Ordering.
This is the fun part. At home I make pour over or french press so when I hit the shop for a cup of joe it’s all about the espresso. My go to orders are either a cappuccino or macchiato. If you’re newer to coffee it’s good to do some research in advance. Because this is specialty coffee, knowing how you like your coffee is key. Sugar or no sugar, foam or no foam, a little milk or a lot of milk. How you take your coffee will dictate what you should be ordering. While I still consider myself a novice I’ve certainly developed a taste for what I like! So give me a smooth espresso and I’ll be happy every time.
Check out my latest local coffee crawl:
Stop One: Lindsey joined me and we started at one of her current favorites: Prospect Coffee in Ventura
I love this shop. Started by two brothers it’s super modern and perfectly chill. I’ve been seeing this look a lot lately. Minimalistic, subway tile, light wood table tops, white walls, lots of natural light and a fun neon sign of their logo. Coffee number one is a small macchiato. A cute little foam heart in a yummy blend of espresso. Unflavored and I prefer not to stir sugar in to savor the rich taste of the espresso.
Fun fact: Espresso is a term for how the beans are brewed. While most people think it means a dark roast it’s actually pressurized hot water forced through finely ground coffee.
We sat at the bar and poor Lindsey had to put up with my distracted attention while I was busy watching the baristas make the drinks. They have a really unique menu and I found myself wanting to try everything I saw them making. I can’t wait to go back and order the Ventucky coffee (espresso, steamed milk, and bourbon honey syrup). How fantastic does that sound?
If you’re used to chain coffee shop macchiatos let me prepare you for a real macchiato. This italian cup of coffee is similar to a cappuccino, but with less milk. If you want more milk and foam with your espresso go for a cappuccino. If you want a lot of milk then you should order a latte. A chain coffee shop’s macchiato is basically a caramel latte which causes plenty of confusion if you don’t know the difference before ordering at a specialty coffee shop.
When it comes to the ins and outs of good coffee and a true understanding of what it is your drinking I turned to my friend and barista Lindsey to educate me on the finer points of brewing, ordering and all things coffee shop etiquette. So stay tuned for a guest post from her soon!
Stop two: Stoked Coffee Co. & Acai Bowls
New to Lindsey and a recent favorite of mine. Stoked serves Dune coffee and makes awesome bowls. I’ve had their espresso and macchiato as well as all three smoothie bowls on the menu. They just started serving waffles as well, so I will be visiting again soon, because who can resist a nutella topped waffle?
Lindsey went for their classic acai bowl while I tried out the dragon fruit bowl. We were not disappointed. The bowls are just as tasty as they are pretty. Since I started the day with a macchiato it was time to move on to coffee number two: a cappuccino. So so good. Lindsey went for a iced matcha latte and I’m regretting not asking for a sip! There’s always next time.
The baristas here are amazing too! You should definitely take the time to chat and get to know them while on your coffee crawl. They just launched waffles and I had seen them in their instagram stories. They weren’t even on the menu yet. After seeing they had them I was so excited, but they were only serving from 8-11. We arrived after 11 and they had just clean and put everything away. I was so impressed when they remembered me over an hour later when we were leaving and apologized again that I had missed the waffles. No worries! I love this coffee shop so much and I for sure will be visiting on a regular basis.
Stop three: Cafe du Suro
When more than one friend starts recommending a new French Bakery and Coffee shop, well you know, I’m checking it out ASAP! Cafe du Suro did not disappoint. I ordered a shot of espresso and a chocolate croissant. My espresso was served true French style with a lemon and a little glass of sparkling water on the side. My croissant was, melt in my mouth, amazing. I felt instantly transported back to Paris and so nostalgic. By coffee shop number three we were ready to chill and call it a day.
All in all it was a fabulous day! Have you done a coffee crawl? What’s your favorite part of coffee shop hopping?