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[whitespace] How to Get a Buzz Roasted on the Spot

A guide to home-toasted coffee beans

By Traci Hukill

WHAT'S MORNING FOG WITHOUT A STEAMING CUP OF JOE? WHAT'S a tender, flaky pastry without a mug of the stuff the Arabs used to call the Talking Drug? What's a student without caffeine? Cold, dry and stupid, respectively, and that's why Santa Cruz has wisely embraced so many excellent coffeehouses.

But what the average java junkie may not know is that his or her favorite cup was most likely roasted within the county limits. Yes, it's true! Santa Cruz hosts a number of coffee roasters who supply fresh-roasted beans to many of the coffeehouses and stores throughout the Greater Santa Cruz Metropolitan Area, and that is truly a wonderful thing.

But more wonderful still is walking into a cafe past a big, shiny, still-warm coffee roaster, smelling the rich, toasty aroma of the freshly done coffee beans and ordering a cup, smug and satisfied in the knowledge that that bad boy is as fresh as coffee gets. Which is precisely what you can do at Pacific Coffee Roasting Company, where owner and roaster Tom Hope cooks up batches of dark-to-light French-roasted beans several times weekly, notably his famous Costa Rican, a truly noble and well-rounded bean.

In addition to Hope's outfit, there are several other local roasters who sell directly to the public as well. Surf City roasts its own beans in a Soquel warehouse (just one more reason to love this spacious, comfortable coffeehouse), and Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company and Aptos Coffee Roasting Company roast their own in a warehouse in Watsonville. SCCRC offers a full range of light, medium and dark roasts, including the intriguing and toasty Indian Malabar and a fruity, low-acidity Sumatra.


Traci lives within sleepwalking distance of seven purveyors of fine coffee.

Aptos Coffee Roasting Company
19 Rancho del Mar Shopping Center, Aptos (685.0100)

Pacific Coffee Roasting Company
7554 Soquel Dr., Aptos (685.2520)

Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company
1330 Pacific Ave., SC (459.0100)

Surf City Coffee Company
9105 Soquel Dr., Aptos (684.2750)
3070 Porter St., Soquel (465.0106)

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From the September 22-29, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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