Silicon Valley Bars and Clubs 2016

Cool Brews

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Coopervino brings a little life to the Cupertino scene.

Starbucks launched a worldwide coffee culture revolution when the Seattle-based company figured out how to efficiently scale the experience of Italian and French coffee houses—bringing blended and flavored java concoctions to the masses.

However, Starbucks and other massive coffee chains have become victims of their own success. The educated coffee consumer now wants more than on-demand espresso, steamed milk and hazelnut syrup. Today, the discerning coffee drinker demands responsibly sourced, fair trade beans—shade-grown, wet-processed Central American light roasts, or naturally processed, dark-roasted Sumatran varieties.

Fortunately, for these customers, there are coffee shops like Bellano. Opened in 2008, the locally owned chain now has four locations: the flagship Santa Clara location; B2 at San Pedro Square Market; the new Bellano Willow Glen and now Social Policy, or So/Po, which opened just a few months ago on Paseo de San Antonio in downtown San Jose.

Veronica Ruckman, co-owner of Bellano and So/Po, says she and her baristas pay attention to all the basics, like responsible sourcing and small-batch roasting. But that's not all. Bellano employees measure everything meticulously, from the weight of their ground bean scoops to the temperature of the water. At B2, Ruckman notes, they recently installed a reverse-osmosis machine, which is used to pull undesirable minerals out of San Jose's notoriously hard water. And then there's the cold brew. Easily one of the fastest-growing trends in coffee making today, the baristas at Bellano and So/Po have their cold brew game on lock.

During the cold brewing process, coffee grounds are allowed to steep in room temperature water overnight before being filtered in the morning. The result is a smoother, sweeter, creamier and far less bitter product than coffee brewed with hot water and then cooled down—a process Ruckman says "shocks the coffee and leads to harsher flavors."

As a bonus to caffeine fiends, cold brew is much more concentrated. "With the long extraction time, it has more exposure time to the coffee itself," Ruckman explains—so much so, that even after it is brewed and appropriately diluted with fresh water, it still packs a heavier punch than hot brewed coffee.

Also, while the process of making the cold brew is time intensive, the process of ordering a cup is a breeze—especially at B2, where they have their cold brew on a nitro powered tap. It's as easy as pay, pull and go. Viva la revolucion.—Nick Veronin

Barefoot Coffee

True to its name, Barefoot Coffee prides itself on its direct trade sourcing and sustainable coffees. Their tasty beans have prompted Metro readers to vote them "Best Coffee Roaster" seven years in a row. A while back, they had the brilliant idea to take their delicious coffee on the go and so, Barefoot Mobile Cart was born. Try any of their legacy specialty drinks or hand-crafted pour-overs for something special. 1819 S Bascom Ave, Campbell.

Big E Cafe

For something truly out of the ordinary try the delicious drinks and empanadas at Big E. The place has been family owned since 2005 so everything is authentic and always the highest-quality. They offer breakfast, lunch and dessert empanadas alongside hand-crafted espressos. Although all their breakfast options are delicious try the bacon empanada with bacon, eggs and cheddar cheese with a cappuccino. 1683 Branham Ln, San Jose.

Blue Bottle Coffee

The coffee shop phenomenon that is Blue Bottle is sweeping across the Bay Area. For many, the newly iconic brand is nothing short of the most authentic coffee in the region. With a promise to serve only responsibly sourced beans roasted within the last 48 hours, it's little wonder their brew is so choice. If you're craving Blue Bottle on the go, the company offers a service that can have coffee delivered straight to your house. They ship within 48 hours of roasting, so the coffee is still at its peak flavor. 456 University Ave, Palo Alto.


Just as Athena sprung from the head of Zeus, B2 was birthed from the first Bellano cafe in Santa Clara. Offering delicious, creamy cold brew on a nitro tap and fantastic artisan pastries, B2 is the place to go for a caffeine fix when at San Pedro Square Market. Enjoy a morning jolt or afternoon pick-me-up inside the Market's sprawling garage space or out on the adjacent patio. 87 N. San Pedro St, San Jose

Caffe Frascati

Caffe Frascati brings real Italian flavors to downtown San Jose, with their cappuccinos, paninis, quiche and, of course, cannolis. The shop also plays host to an assortment of karaoke, opera and comedy acts weekly. Those interested in the best cappuccino on three wheels, should check out the piaggio ape, which is available for rent for special occasions. 315 S First Street, San Jose.


This coffee shop gives a new meaning to morning pick-me-up with their speedy drive-through service. Enjoy your favorite coffee, milkshake or pastries from the comfort of your car—along with great customer service. Vegetarian friendly options are available. Try their classic caramel lattes for satisfying sweetness. 2790 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara.

Chromatic Coffee Co.

The folks over at Chromatic have turned coffee roasting into a science, bringing out the mysterious natural sweetness of coffee beans. In addition to their unique roasting approach, they add a special touch to every bag of beans by encouraging fans to submit drawings and incorporate some into a monthly theme, which they print on every bag. Any of their small-batch coffees are worth a try, the most popular are Gamut espresso, Keynote and Encore. 5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara.

Crema Coffee Roasting Co.

Comfortable chairs and WiFi add to the cozy atmosphere found in this coffee shop. One-of-a-kind pour-overs, paninis and breakfast burritos are just a few of the tasty options that can be found here. Coffee isn't the only thing they are famous for. Their award winning gelato is fantastic—especially the bourbon butter pecan. 950 The Alameda, San Jose.

Dana Street Roasting Co.

Enjoy live music, freshly baked goods and specialty espresso drinks. Tasty options include Irish cream latte, banana mocha with authentic Monin banana flavor, thai coffee and caffe borgia with chocolate, orange & nutmeg. 744 W Dana St, Mountain View.

Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Co.

Founded in 1982, the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company has nearly 35 years of experience getting beans ready for brew. The history behind this coffee can be tasted in every cup. LGCRC prides itself on the community it has fostered around its product, which is apparent in their loyal customer base. 101 W Main St, Los Gatos.

Philz Coffee

This place is more than a popular hangout for San Jose State University students. Some surely would not survive without it. With lines that often extend out the door, the coffee here speaks for itself. Try their unique mint mojito, which comes with real mint crushed in every cup. They also serve specialty teas and have outdoor seating that is great for study groups. 118 Paseo de San Antonio Walk, San Jose.

Red Rock Coffee

The folks over at Red Rock pour their coffee according to the three C's. Caffeine, culture and, perhaps the most important, community. They function as a not-for-profit business, meaning that any expenses not used to keep the business going, are returned right back to the community to be used by non-profit and charity groups. Music, spoken word, visual art, photography, poetry, writers, dancers, thinkers, servants and comedians from all over are welcome to showcase their talents. 201 Castro St, Mountain View.


On the bustling Paseo de San Antonio pedestrian walk, which connects San Jose State to Plaza de Cesar Chavez, this hip java joint, gallery and performance space does only a few things—but it does them well. Caffeine fiends should be sure to try their cold brew, the only iced coffee option they have. It's sure to get anyone's motor running. 200 S. First Street, San Jose.

Intro | Craft Cocktails | Craft Beer | Wine | Juice Bars | Coffee | Dance
& Live Music
| Dives & Old Favorites | Gentlemen's Clubs