In the late 1930s, Giuseppe “Nino” Rolla’s sons watched as crackling flames browned delicate coffee beans in their father’s small Venetian café. In the mid-1990s, Giuseppe’s grandson Nicolo brought his family’s brewing heritage with him when he moved to the States, establishing Enne Caffe—named for the “N” in Nino—with his wife Samantha. Inside the café, a 7-foot-tall computerized roaster imported from Turkey prepares single-origin beans from Venezuela, Colombia, and other countries, and Nicolo, a bean-spotting virtuoso, uses finely tuned senses of sight and smell to monitor each small batch. Drawing on family lore, Nicolo re-creates Nino’s blends with a historian’s accuracy and fixes up modern english-toffee-flavored coffees whenever Dickensian orphans request them. Enne Caffe also stocks teas flavored with japanese sencha and tropical fruits, Monin flavored syrups, and smoothie bases that transform into frothy, spicy chai or white chocolate when mingled with ice in a blender. Enne Caffe fills cups in more than 80 businesses, such as restaurants and cafés, and delivers parcels directly to customers’ homes, where vacuum-sealed bags bearing the roasters’ red-and-white logo stand out against decorous porches or the dark mouths of inhabited caves.
The friendly mother-and-daughter team behind Aromas Coffee & Cafe enlists more than 20 years of serving experience to entice patrons with caffeinated drinks, light café fare, and free WiFi seven days a week. A large cup of freshly poured java and the soft pillowy layers of a doughy cinnamon roll pair perfectly like two sides of a Laurel and Hardy friendship necklace. Dining duos can venture in on certain Saturdays to take in the sounds of open-mic performers as they sip and nibble their treats. Alternatively, guests can choose their own treats, digging into a drink menu filled with mexican mochas ($3+) and smoothies ($3+) or perusing the café menu’s bagel sandwiches ($2.99+), pastries ($0.50–$2.95) and more, instead of grinding coffee beans to use as dehydrated space food.
Ryan Bros. Coffee's attentive owners match discerning tastes with artfully crafted blends of fair-trade coffees and mouthwatering café fare. Classic coffees include featured roasts ($1.75 for 12 oz., $2 for 20 oz.) such as bold Cowboy coffee or the full-bodied Broadway Blues, which are filtered for fuller tastes. Espresso drinks inject caffeine-packed shots into tongue-tickling flavors such as a warm, creamy mocha ($3.55–$3.95) or a chilly, blended Java Lava frappe ($4.25). Chompable menu items grant solid starts to the day, including the chipotle-bacon breakfast sandwich ($5.95), whereas real-fruit smoothies, including the refreshing mango patch ($4.25), rev bodies with vitamin-rich fuel. Salads ($6.50–$7.25) and freshly grilled paninis ($5.95–$6.95) are also available for consumption. Packaged portions of coffee, tea, and comestibles adorn shelves in front of burnt-orange walls and sun-sprayed indoor or outdoor seating areas offer the ideal space in which to enjoy free WiFi.
Committed to perfecting olive-oil production, Trabuco Farms private labels its olives from California. The result is an oil that lends a mild fruit and pepper flavor to salads or pastas. Using natural fruit extracts, Trabuco Farms’ oil further enhance these oils by infusing them with a variety of flavors, including orange, jalapeño, garlic, and basil. Trabuco Farms also stocks a range of barrel-aged balsamic vinegars imported from Modena, Italy.
Locally situated and independently owned, Sips Coffee clears bleary eyes with an assortment of caffeinated concoctions and savory pastries. Shake off nightmares of coffee bean uprisings with a tea latte, which melds milk and sugar with a selection of aromatic teas that include passion fruit, earl grey, jasmine, and more ($3.35–$3.95). Try dousing steamy maws with an iced coffee ($2.35–$2.70) or creamy blended smoothie ($3.90–$4.35) before indulging in flaky pastries ($1.95–$2.15), fruit cups ($4.75), and sandwiches ($5.55). Sips Coffee's amicable gang of bean barons also trade their blends in bulk, which can double as paperweights when penning a voluminous coming-of-age tome about a free-spirited West Coast coffee bean ($5.75–$12). Sips Coffee hosts live, local music on weekends, and spirited patrons can utilize free WiFi to stream live videos of their own interpretive dances during each song.
Executive Chef Eddy Rocq, educated at the Mederic Culinary School of Paris, now serves up French sandwiches and sweets at Rocq Café. His macarons, a variety of light French sandwich cookie, have been featured in Oprah's O magazine and added to the shelves of the Laguna Niguel Whole Foods and Tustin Whole Foods. He sells hundreds of these airy treats each week, in flavors such as fruit, chocolate, and moon rock. He changes up the lunch menu every week to keep fresh flavors in the spotlight, often showcasing panini and croissant sandwiches, quiches, and homemade soups.
The bread pans and baking trays begin clattering early at Cinnamon Productions, announcing the bakers’ 4 a.m. arrival. It’s during these hours before dawn that the bakery’s team brings everything from sandwich bread to signature cinnamon rolls, which they pepper with actual ground cinnamon, to golden brown fruition. Once out of the oven, the freshly made goods crowd the eatery’s display case, tempting patrons to pair them with cups of coffee, scrambled eggs, or one of seven gourmet sandwiches. Every now and then, one of the staffers will pluck a few of the fresh cinnamon rolls to create a catering order, gift basket, or convincing Princess Leia headpiece.