Thursday morning’s coffee break was a stop at Bello Mundo Cafe in downtown SLO. Researching coffee shops in advance of my trip, I noticed that Bello Mundo was still sporting Ecco Caffe on its website. Santa Rosa’s Ecco was my favorite roaster and is no longer in operation. But this showed me that Bello Mundo was a serious coffee house and worth checking out. Now it offers Equator Coffee from San Rafael, CA, another very fine roaster.
Bello Mundo is a tiny storefront with supplemental seating on the sidewalk. Besides coffee, it specializes in cupcakes and bakes everything else in the pastry case but the croissants from Back Door. The berry-laden scones and the fruit breads looked very tempting. But having read here about Back Door, I went with a chocolate croissant and it was heated for me. A well-developed crust and very buttery, the enormous croissant was on the chewy side rather than delicate. But I enjoyed it nonetheless, and will have to return for the Bello Mundo house pastries.
For the morning brew, I chose Equator Coffee Ethiopia Worka from the pour over list. Maybe I was unduly influenced by the posted description, but I swear that this fruity single origin coffee does indeed have clear notes of blueberry and stone fruits. Usually I add either sugar or cream, and sometimes both, but this brew was so fascinating, I kept it black. Served in a special cup to highlight the aroma, this was one to linger over. Worka became smoother and more flavorful as it cooled down.
Though the knowledgeable staff take coffee seriously and have high standards, they were also genial with no pretentious attitudes. This friendliness was such a difference from some of the too-cool-for-school baristas in San Francisco. Judging from the many regulars who stopped in during my time there, this little café’s genuine warmth, fine beverages and quality baked goods are appreciated by the locals too. Bello Mundo is a gem, don't miss it.
Bello Mundo Cafe
980 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401