Arts & Culture, Dining

Third Wave Coffee in Downtown Sac

Shea GuntherMaher

Downtown Sac is quickly becoming an industry leader in the farm-to-cup scene as third wave coffee hubs grace the grid with mindful dedication to sourcing quality beans and artisanal preparation. We locals aren’t the only ones taking notice, Sacramento landed four places in Coffee Review’s 30 best coffees in 2014, outmatching any other city!

Photo courtesy of @JuliaMaya_

Photo courtesy of @JuliaMaya_

In our world-class foodie scene, coffee is embraced as a gourmet experience, a medium for artistic expression. Beneath the beautiful foam art, specialty coffee celebrates unique flavor profiles of beans grown in special geographic climates. And then, of course, there’s the brewing experience – an artful ritual in itself. When it comes to brewing, the stylish glass funnel ‘pour over’ method seems to dominate.

Coffee inspires people to gather. And, using their creatively designed spaces, cafes serve as collision spots for local arts, music and community events. Check out these third wave coffeehouses that are bringing cultural richness and global influence to the community of Downtown Sac.

Temple Coffee Roasters | 1010 9th Street

Named one of the Top 17 Coffee Roasters in the U.S. by CNN and Fortune Magazine, Temple Coffee is a recognized powerhouse in the specialty coffee world for their “farm to cup” practices.  In addition to exceptional roasting and brewing, Temple emphasizes ethical sourcing by building strong relationships with their trusted bean farmers.

Photo courtesy of @JuliaMaya_

Photo courtesy of @JuliaMaya_

Insight Coffee Roasters | 1014 10th Street

Quality is the name of the game at Insight Coffee, where they use manual lever espresso machines and manual brew bars to craft delicious cups made from beans around the world. The world’s leading coffee guide, Coffee Review, gave Insight’s Guatemala San Antonio Chaguite 92 out of a possible 100 points this November. In addition to award-winning beans, the coffeehouse offers a charming vintage aesthetic inside their used-to-be-bookstore nook – an ideal ambience for laptop workers and casual minglers alike.

Grace Coffee Roasters | 1215 K Street

“Drink great coffee, change the world,” is the mission behind Grace Coffee Roasters, a globally-minded coffee house serving high quality coffee blends while donating to nonprofits that help girls escape from human trafficking. Grace Coffee Roasters is brimming with passion for better coffee and a better world.

The Naked Lounge | 1111 H Street

This groovy hole-in-the-wall is tucked inside Retro Lodge, a motel-turned-office space with rad murals and funky vibes. Mixing great coffee with fresh culture, Naked Lounge‘s concrete and metal aesthetic features local artwork and an adjoining music venue for live events.


Photo courtesy of @JuliaMaya_

Old Soul Co. | 812 21st Street

Bring a book with you to Old Soul Co., cuz you’re likely to linger in this charming boutique coffee roaster and baker house. Old Soul hosts live music every Friday and features art installations, educational classes, and various community initiatives. 

Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters | 400 P Street

Don’t let the name scare you off, there’s nothing fishy about this authentic New Zealand-style coffee bar where fish-shaped chocolates are a symbol of gratitude. Another reason to check out Chocolate Fish – these frothy foam masters are the creators of Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament as well as co-creators of Downtown Sac’s annual Specialty Coffee Week