A Timeless Soy Latte

Today’s drink of choice: a Timeless soy latte made with The Tide espresso blend of Ethiopian and Colombian beans; full bodied and chocolatey with some sweet floral notes on the finish. Extremely smooth, a little nutty, and perfectly warm for this walk through the shops on Piedmont Avenue.

This was my first time visiting Timeless, the bustling coffee roaster bakery chocolate shop in Oakland, but I definitely will be returning for more espresso (and maybe even a chocolate next time!)

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Inspired by Taste

To celebrate the eve of Artís Coffee’s one-year anniversary in Berkeley, I paid a visit and ordered an almond milk latte. Best decision of the day, and what a great push towards productivity.

I want to return tomorrow to celebrate; we shall if my life journey brings me back in time! Hopefully, because there’s a chocolate truffle and coffee pairing from 11-11:30am and a DJ/pudding/ice cream taco party from 1pm-4pm. Mark your calendars, Bay Area caffeine addicts!

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Tarts and Iced Lattes

Hello La Boulange Cafe & Bakery in Walnut Creek! Per our craving of fruit tarts and need for caffeine, we hastily decided this was a good, convenient, and reliable option. And once I found out Hugo had never been to La Boulange I knew I had no choice but to expose him to something that was so well known for their pastries (and capabilities of doing them on a large scale) that Starbucks bought them up.

We ordered an iced soy latte and an iced chai latte for here. We got the chai unsweetened and more on the spicier side because I figured we would have enough sweetness with the two pastries and good company. Hugo picked out the passion fruit tart and I got the more savory, but also delicious, pear and goat cheese tart. The passion fruit tart had the same consistency as a lemon tart but with the very obvious passion fruit flavor. They topped it with whipped cream and a raspberry, but I think it would have been more properly named if it actually had a slice of passion fruit (or any tropical fruit) on top instead of the berry. The goat cheese had a purple pear atop; neither of us know what it was that color but it was aesthetically pleasing nonetheless.

The latte has dark chocolate and earthy tasting notes. I was a bit disappointed by the fact the drink I had (very specifically) ordered for here came in a plastic cup, but the deliciousness of the drink that was contained inside made it worth it.

Today I favored the latte because I forgot to enhance my chai with a shot of espresso. I prefer both the taste and caffeine kick of chai’s when they are dirty, but this chai was able to stand on it’s own as a delicious and refreshing spiced ice beverage. The chai was still sweet but with a clear cinnamon-spice kick.

Two drinks (and two pastries) later I feel ready to get started with my day on the right note. That is the caffeinated-and-satisfied note.

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Intelligentsia Perfection

The second I saw Intelligentsia as Hugo and I were walking down Colorado Street in Old Town Pasadena, I knew I had to show him the wonders and magic of their Black Cat espresso. Intelligentsia’s soy iced latte can only be described as perfection with each sip. My taste buds fell in love at first taste, and my sense of smell was ignited before even walking through the door, hit with the strong smell of freshly roasted and ground coffee beans. Their soy latte is always a safe bet for an amazing beverage, mostly because of their high quality beans. Black Cat Espresso is a syrupy sweet espresso blend that has been the staple of Intelligentsia’s lineup since the beginning; the supreme balance and wonderful sweetness made this a classic, as well as one of my favorite espressos of all time.

Since it has double the espresso of the latte, Hugo’s Angeleno was a significantly darker color with a more intense, sharp espresso smell that is sure to excite any espresso lover. The Soy Angeleno is a shaken-sweetened iced latte with four shoots of the Black Cat espresso, sweetened with simple syrup. We asked for it to be only lightly sweetened, which ended up being a good call because then the amazing taste of the espresso was not overpowered by the sweetener. I would be willing to try it with their normal amount of simple syrup, just because I know how skilled these perfectionist Baristas are at Intelligentsia.

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La Boulange Café

Being up in San Francisco for my last-ever spring break, obviously the first thing Carmen, Stephanie, and I had to do was get coffee. We just stopped at La Boulange Café & Bakery in Danville and I immediately felt relaxed with the boutique decor: wood floors, wooden tables and chairs, orbe lights and a wash on the wall that looks like coffee was used to paint them.

I was originally hesitant due to their partnership/being owned by Starbucks, but I was thoroughly impressed with their drinks. The pastries look significantly better than those in the Starbucks cases (such as the almond croissant and the goat cheese tomato basil mini sandwhich).

The espresso is a medium roast, fair trade and organic from Latin America. I ordered the soy iced latte with a small splash of vanilla syrup.
It has a rich, lingering finish from the espresso that is in no way overpowered by the soy. I purposely ordered it with just a small amount of vanilla because I was truly curious about the taste of their espresso, even though the La Boulange barista recommended either the vanilla or caramel latte.

Their loyalty card is very friendly, with the rounded edges and the genuine “Thank you for your loyalty” statement on the back. Because I went with my SF-local cousin Carmen, we got her loyal customer card stamped by their unique B-shaped puncher, on our way to our free drink (after 9, that is). Definitely an incentive to return later this week.