Verve Coffee, Santa Cruz, CA
Some of the best coffee outside of the famous coffee havens (Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, L.A.) is located in Santa Cruz, California. Verve Coffee Roasters is an elite shop in a land dominated by Starbucks and Peet’s. Fairly new to the scene, Verve was est. in 2007. They have quickly expanded and made a name for themselves with three locations in their roots of Santa Cruz and very recently, their first location in Downtown L.A. just opened. If you are looking for a good place to do some work while you enjoy some coffee look no further than their downtown Pacific Ave. location.
When you enter the shop you can instantly tell this is not your average coffee shop. You are greeted by hanging wall lights, old school mining carts repurposed into coffee carts, and wall to wall bean coverage. DIY hanging Edison lights cover the ceiling (we have the same exact ones!) and the atmosphere is light and airy. Little known possible secret, the shop is shaped like a V, just like their logo. Coincidence? I think not! They serve a hot coffee, cold brew, and a coffee brewed probiotic drink called Dr. Kefiers on tap, poured and ready while you pay. Their other drinks take time to craft, special for you, but it is well worth that wait. On a hot summer day I will spring for a cold brew to beat the heat. But there is one drink here that really shines against the competition, the mocha.
If you know my coffee taste at all you know that I drink my coffee black. Cold brew? Black. Drip? Black. Pour over? Who puts cream and sugar in a pour over, you heathen. But I will make an exception for Verve. Served in a large cappuccino cup, the mocha is a sizeable drink, usually one that Lynn and I will share if we are just going to work. It is completely drinkable by one person but you can split and not feel like you were cheated. Chocolate syrup lines the bottom of the cup and the coffee is poured over. The artists at Verve then do some form of latte art on top with steamed milk, usually a flower or a heart. A thin bar of whipped cream is added to the side and it is dusted in cinnamon sugar. To say this drink is decadent is an understatement. It is almost a drinkable dessert! When you get the drink, make sure to mix the bottom with the spoon they give you before it cools down too much. This will mix the chocolate at the bottom so it doesn’t settle into a chalky texture. The drink has so many complex flavors mixed together. Sweet frothy milk and whipped cream, cinnamon sugar for texture and taste, high quality coffee that isn’t masked by chocolate, and rich dark chocolate. I am actually writing this post as I drink one!
The staff here here is incredibly friendly, they always make conversation with me while I wait for my coffee and they are extremely approachable with questions. It was actually their blog with tutorial videos (and Stumptown's blog for that matter) that got me into coffee brewing! If you are ever by the beach and you are looking for a little pick me up, this is the place to be! Hope you enjoyed this post and until next time, take a break and smell the coffee beans!