Coffee & Tea

Los Angeles Area Pasadena

Best Coffee in Pasadena and Environs

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Best Coffee in Pasadena and Environs

mancina | Apr 19, 2007 09:39 AM

I'm sitting in Espress Yourself (courtyard of Pasadena Public Library) drinking my usual triple americano (for hard-core coffee-drinkers, there's also the quad-shot coffee option, but I retreated back to three shots), boyfriend drinking his single mocha. This place has been making consistently perfect coffee since it opened five years ago. Richard and his wife Jennifer, the co-owners, can't make a bad cup. Many people probably wouldn't notice the deftness with which the espresso is pulled, but even the most oblivious mocha drinker will be delighted by the tower of gently sweetened, honest-to-goodness, freshly whipped cream (Alta Dena, not Rockview brand) capping his Guittard chocolate drink. The thermos jug says "cream", and that's what it is, that same Alta-Dena heavy cream diluted with a touch of milk (most coffee houses use half and half.) This makes my americano creamier. Richard also has the knack of microwaving a croissant exactly the right amount to vaguely warm it without destroying its flaky texture.

The coffee, as mentioned, is excellent -- but please note, this is a coffee stand, not house. There are no mugs, nor comfy couches (nor regular indoor drinking area, in general). On sunny days, sit outside and enjoy the free Wi-Fi (with library card number as your user ID). On cold mornings, there are heat lamps, but perhaps the best option is to take your coffee into the library foyer, and sit at one of the beautiful dark wood-stained antique tables. The library opens at 9:00am, but for early coffee-drinkers, Espress Yourself opens an hour prior.

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