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A month ago, I dropped into Captain + Stoker Coffee Roasters in downtown Monterey for the first time. After running morning errands, this was a pleasant breakfast of a beautifully crafted flat white, $4, and avocado toast, $7. It was also significant as the first time since the pandemic started that I've taken a seat inside a cafe to sip from a real coffee cup. Not being a daily coffee drinker, I indulge only when i can take the time to sit and savor. This was a personal milestone of sorts in marking our reopening and recovery.
But back to that flat white . . . made with "The Captain" espresso blend, the flavor profile was quite chocolatey with red-fruited highlights and a twinge of acidity at the back. The very earthy finish turned almost muddy as the brew cooled. Still, this was so nicely put together with very tight foam and I'd return to try another roast.
The avocado toast was well-made on a crunchy, chewy base of Pure Bake sourdough. A generous amount of ripe mashed avocado topped with arugula, local sea salt and a heavy application of chile flakes was accompanied by a wedge of lime. A filling breakfast that carried me through dinner time.
The fall drink menu was newly posted including fall cider blended with chamomile tea and other autumnal flavor themes. I should have grabbed one to-go on leaving. But that just means I need to return sooner than later.
While there is no outdoor seating, the storefront is well-ventilated when the roll-up door is open. Customers spaced themselves apart on the communal table and window counter. Staff were all masked. The bicycle-themed set-up felt comfortable for an indoor space.
Captain + Stoker Coffee Roasters
398 E Franklin Street
Monterey, CA 93940
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