We've combed the West for the very best flavor experiences, all worthy of a culinary pilgrimage
Photo by Alex Farnum
We take our coffee seriously in the West. Decades after Starbucks hit the scene, our coffee artisans are still raising the bar, roasting their own beans sourced from exotic (but ethical) locales, pushing the envelope with brewing techniques that use siphons and single-cup pour-over drippers, and teaching their customers to appreciate the coffee as more than just a caffeine fix. Take Verve Coffee Roasters: This tiny roastery-café, just blocks from the Santa Cruz surf, buys only green beans and dedicates significant effort to sample roasts, refining along the way to get that perfect flavor profile. On Friday afternoons, drop by for a public cupping (think wine tasting, but for coffee). Sniff the brew and slurp as noisily as possible to aerate the coffee and spread it evenly over your palate; it’s the best way to taste those subtle hints of apricot and passion fruit in a cup of single-origin joe.