In the spirit of checking things off my SLO Bucket List, Rebecca and I ventured to the last San Luis Obispo coffee shop I had to visit before I graduated: West End Espresso & Tea at the end of Higuera. With the large windows making up half of the walls, this particular SLOcal coffee shop has a different vibe than the rest. I like it.
As the first coffee house in downtown San Luis Obispo, they have welcomed coffee and tea lovers such as myself for over 30 years with the sounds and smells of tantalizing brews.
Good (but also not that surprising) news: they have two different non-dairy alternatives, soy and almond milk!
Espresso Nuovoq is a rich blend of Central, South American, and Indonesian beans roasted to a deep dark brown. These oily beans have lots of oil in them (interesting?), which makes the espresso amazingly strong. In addition to strong flavor, these beans produce a complex full-bodied brew with a thick rich crema. Apparently West End Espresso is known for having really strong espresso. If interested, you can even buy any of their whole beans to take home for yourself.
I went with my favorite; dirty chai with soy. Matt the barista recommended it the hot; how could I resist? They use Big Chai, which is a liquid concentrate sweet chai with vanilla flavoring. One of my favorite chais I’ve tried thus far: full of flavor.
They start by adding it the chai, then they cut it with milk instead of water (which is what Starbucks does, but they aren’t about that). The proportion was about half milk & half with the chai. If I wanted to have even MORE caffeine, they also have a dirty hippy, which is iced coffee, chai, and espresso. They called my drink out as a “Soy Chai Charger” which was new. It felt very light with a generous helping of the foam, which I was excited about simply because of the uniqueness of the frothy goodness on top. The foam actually tasted with chai and is a dark tan color. The dirty chai itself was incredibly smooth, with both the espresso and chai overpowering the soy in a delightful tongue-tickling way.