A double Cap

Coffee is a favored method of caffeine intake, many students and community members cannot live without their cup(s) of Joe. You can get coffee at one of the many Cafes in and around Davis.

Apparently you make this strange beverage by picking beans off of a bush, roasting them, grinding them up and running boiling water through them. Look, I'm not making this up — my imagination's not *that* good.

September 29 is National Coffee Day.

Local Coffee Businesses

For coffee shops, see Cafes

Local Specific Coffee Sources

Fair Trade

  • Starbucks (nationally) is a large seller of fair trade coffee, if not the single largest seller. It apparently sells about 10% of all fair trade coffee that is imported into the United States.
    • Correct you are Mr. Raba, I had pondered the thought of bringing that option up; but being an employee found it to be far to risky. —AndrewBanta
    • Don't they only sell "free trade" coffee as beverages, though? —Angel.York
  • Mishka's Cafe sells exclusively fair trade coffee which they roast on site.
  • Cloud Forest Coffee and Micro Roaster is now located in downtown Davis. The juices are great - including carrot, beet and orange.

Brewing Coffee

French Press

A coffee brewing device of simple construction. It has 3 basic elements. A beaker, the housing that supports the beaker, with a handle and finally the wire mesh plunger. The method for brewing coffee with such an apparatus is extremely simple, and yet in my personal opinion yields perhaps one of the best cups of coffee you will ever drink. You will want to grind your beans on a coarser grind. Then you pour them into the bottom of the beaker, add boiling water, stir in the grounds, and place the cap and plunger on top of the beaker. Do not depress the plunger for around four minutes or so. If you feel the need to be anal, use a timer. Or just use your best judgment. Don’t depress the plunger with maximum acceleration. Keep in mind you are separating grounds from coffee, so use a slow gentle, steady force. The advantage to using a press is that there is no paper filter. The press uses a mesh wire strainer, which will not absorb any of the coffee flavor, which is good.

The setup of a coffee madman. From left to right: single-cup drip brewer, blade grinder, french press. Background: water boiler/heater.

A very traditional method of coffee brewing, especially in America. Water is siphoned up a long tube from below a basket full of grounds, and than the water sort of “rains” down on the coffee grounds. They are known for making that trademark gurgling sound. They use a gigantic paper filter, which as we now know absorbs flavor and other finer undertones of coffee. However all is not lost, for those of you at home using a simple brewing machine, say perhaps a Mr. Coffee, you may purchase stainless steel filters. Or filter rather as it is a sort of end all solution to the paper filter, washable and reusable. Now that’s a bit better for the environment. Grounds do not need to be as coarse with paper or metal filters used in conventional brewers.

Brewed coffee tastes dramatically different depending on how long it's been sitting out. When an establishment isn't very busy and you want a cup of hot joe, keep in mind it might taste strange if it's been sitting there for an hour or more. "I agree, I have had coffee at Mel's that has been sitting out forever, and it tastes like it has been tainted with massive amounts of pepper. While some coffees have a "pepper-like" flavor, I don't actually want to taste pepper itself. Please rebrew."

To prepare coffee using the espresso method, dark roasted coffee beans — often French or espresso roast — are ground on one of the finer settings available. High pressure water is then forced through the coffee, which is in a metal brew basket. This heated water can also be used to steam milk, which is quite often thought of when we think of espresso. Steamed milk should only be steamed to certain temperatures, as heating it too much will burn the milk, so I recommend either the purchase of a thermometer, or suffer with the thought of possibly burning your milk. You will know by that awful sound, and pleasant smell of burnt milk that you have in-fact heated it too far. Best to dump it out and start over. Better luck next time.

Cappuccino is a drink consisting of espresso coffee, and foam from steamed milk, and whether or not you like it "dry" or "wet" some amount of milk. The wetter you want it, the more steamed milk, while dry on the other hand is mostly foam. I enjoy a single shot of espresso a bit of sugar, and a whole lot of foam. Yum.

Latte is a drink consisting of espresso coffee, and steamed milk, and a considerably lesser amount of foam.

Shots are straight shots of espresso brewed coffee. Depending upon the strength of your stomach and caffeine fitness level, this may curl the hair on the back of your neck if it doesn't ulcerate your intestines.

To prepare coffee using the Turkish method, coffee beans are ground as finely as possible. A portion of water is heated in a special pot, then the coffee is added, and the mixture is brought to a boil and immediately pulled from the heat. It is then returned to the heat, to reach a boil and cool down 1-2 more times, then poured into the drinking vessel. Sugar can be added before brewing or afterwards, as can spices. This brewing method is used widely in the eastern Mediterranean countries.

Caffeine addicts address issues

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As someone who is completely obsessed with coffee, and who works at a coffee house for that matter, I thought it would be fun to share perhaps some of our coffee concoctions. One thing I know I want to stress is the insignificant, yet ever frustrating fact that espresso is pronounced with the ever present “s” and not as “expresso.” Just a little rant of mine. I think it would be fun to also discuss coffee brewing methods, such as French presses, verses percolators. Pros and cons can be discussed from both sides. Also if you have any personal advice for how you make your perfect latte, it would be fun to share. —AndrewBanta

2005-09-29 23:46:33   I love raising my blood pressure. It's simply awesome. —OnceLivedInDavis

2005-10-28 13:58:02   This page seems highly useless. Cafes is much better. —JackHaskel

2006-01-08 17:04:00   Know your limit. When your hands shake enough to require assistance holding your drink, you should stop. —BrianMcFadden

2006-02-21 13:10:51   I think sugar in the raw is a nice compliment for a perhaps too strong cup of Joe. A nice way to sweeten it up a bit, without using that awful refined sugar... —AndrewBanta

2006-04-03 01:30:16   I'm so damned proud of this page. —AndrewBanta

2006-09-24 16:44:22   "Yo La Tengo!"- my very own coffee roaster. A wedding, gift certainly the best of many. You roast two ounces at a time (enough for one full French press). Your coffee is as fresh as is possible. You pay half as much for beans buying them green. I don't know if you can buy green beans in Davis, but roasters and green can be ordered from Oakland based Sweet Marias. MMM the freshest... —RobiPochapin

2006-09-25 00:26:09   I am one of the two best baristas at the Starbucks in the North Davis Safeway, if I or Elisa are not there, you may want to reconsider buying a hot drink, and get a frappochino instead.. —JoeRunnels

2006-09-27 16:50:32   Cloud forest coffee in West Davis on Lake st. roasts there own bean. —RobiPochapin

  • 2006-10-06 09:54:33   Anyone have any info on Cloud Forest Coffee in West Davis? Is it any good? —AdamFlowers
  • 2007-07-29 15:55   I went there last weekend and had a positive experience. I bought a pound of espresso beans that was roasted THAT morning! The cost was only $8.99/lb. On my equipment, it made a decent espresso with very good crema. The flavor was more bitter than I would have liked, but the guy did say that the beans would actually taste better a few days after roasting. I don't know for sure if this is true. I didn't get coffee there, but it seemed like a nice ambience with friendly service and dedicated 'locals'. This place definitely deserves its own daviswiki entry."—CharanRanganath
  • It's true, freshly roasted coffee generally doesn't taste as good as coffee that has rested for a few days. They say 3-5 days is the sweet spot for most coffees, after that it starts to slowly lose flavor and freshness. —KellyM

2006-11-04 13:41:18   Just a random thought, what's the LD50 for coffee? I'd like to know when to stop so I won't die any time soon. —AlexNelson

2006-11-16 22:44:09   If you really love coffee, you must try roasting your own. It will rock your world. —RobiPochapin

2006-12-27 10:10:15   What coffee shop in Davis has baristas who know and care about straight espresso? Do they use a Semi-automatic machine? (as opposed to a super automatic like Charbucks) Do they clean the group head frequently? Is anyone using a naked portafilter? If the answer is yes to two or more my questions I'll assume that the fresh bean is ground immediatly before dosing/tamping. —RobiPochapin

In my experience, it really depends on who's making it and what sort of mood they're in more so than where you get it. I'm not a huge fan of Mishka's coffee to begin with, so I'm not a huge fan of their espresso either. The Cafe Roma near campus has pretty good espresso if you like their coffee. They clean their group head at least once a day, but the portafilter is not taked. I believe Dan Macht put in an RO system awhile back. The beans are ground immediately before tamping. However, their machine is getting on in years and could use some service. —ArlenAbraham

My vote for best straight espresso in town goes to Konditorei. They're about 2 notches above anything else in town, though I more normally visit Mishka's and Common Grounds because they have wireless. —WesHardaker

2007-01-08 18:48:06   Serious home espresso brewers of Davis: I've recently aquired a Bezzera BZ02S (with naked PF and triple basket) and Macap Stepless grinder. Drop me a line if you would like to stop by my crib in W. Davis for some shots and compare notes. —RobiPochapin

2007-07-02 14:41:17   6 months later, any word on a good/above average espresso cafe? Just moved in from San Diego (Another espresso desert) and would love to find my next hangout. —KellyM

2007-07-02 17:05:31   I'm more of an enthusiast than an afficianado, but I like Peet's generally for both coffee and espresso. Not a big fan of milk in the coffee drinks, though. —RocksandDirt

2007-07-03 08:19:21   My ranked espresso establishments for taste (I've tried them all!): By far the best espresso in town is Konditorei. I just realized I already said this in a comment above, but I'll stop now. But did I mention that Konditorei has good espresso yet? —WesHardaker

  • So far I've tried Chamonix, Delta, and Konditorei. All of them don't stack up to really good espresso, but Konditorei is probably still some of the best in town if only because they *sometimes* grind right before dosing. I know, it all depends on the barista serving you, but so far all of them aren't especially well trained or knowledgeable about espresso. No offense to them, they have all been very nice and the customer service has been better than most superstar baristas that have served me. Konditorei wins in terms of snacks and sweets available (by far the best I've seen so far), and Delta wins in terms of ambiance and food. I have high hopes for Cloud Forest Coffee, although I doubt it will be much of a hangout. I will continue to visit Konditorei —KellyM

2007-08-19 12:55:03   Yo Kelly M, Fire me an email to arrange a session in West Davis, meet my wife, daughter, dog etc.- Robi —RobiPochapin

2007-11-24 10:55:37   Don't leave out Cargo Coffee! They are only fair trade organic coffee and tea. they are on campus and seem like a smaller business, but definitely some of the best coffee in town. —dianasage

2009-11-22 12:12:00   Ahhh coffee, the drink of the gods!!! Favorite drink of hard working students universally. Whether your caffeine intake is via a French press, drip, or espresso most all coffee drinkers share the loving embrace that first cup gives you in the late hours of the night and the early hours of the day.... The tingling sensation of caffeine through your bloodstream as your adenosine receptors block out any whimsical thoughts of ever going to sleep..... —tedougan

2009-12-30 21:16:14   By Far the BEST Espresso drink I have ever had Barista Brew Cafe on 5th and G and not to mention great service and they have free wifi great place —Glady