Good Brews are Hard to Come by
By Kimberly Johnson
Your go-to guide for specialty coffee in the Inland Empire
Roasting coffee has been an international pastime for as long as man has had armor, paper or the modern number system. Making its debut in the 13th century, the sweet aroma and unique flavor when roasted down over a flame has made the coffee bean an irreplaceable commodity. Now, 800 years after the first coffee bean was braised, the world is showing a continued interest in the art, showing no signs of giving it up or slowing it down.
Coffee Roasting establishments in the surrounding cities have been building a reputation for their unique ambiance and flavorful roasts. Chino Hills’ Dripp is highlighted by their delectable made-to-order Turkish brews, but also their menu of sweet treats including personalized ice cream sandwiches with adventurous ice cream options like Maple Bacon, Guinness Stout, Nutella or the classic, Vanilla Bean.
Redland’s coffee house, Augie’s, is a city favorite. Nestled in the heart of downtown Redlands, the coffee shop is often immersed in some form of artistry flowing in through its doors and out into the alley it parallels. Devoted regulars have made the brew house such a necessity, that the once lone coffee shop intends to extend the business, adding a Riverside location in the coming months.
While Augie’s intends to break into the Riverside City coffee roasting industry, hot spot Back to the Grind has been on the grid since 1996. Among many things, the coffee house is known for it’s abundant space; including a central level, an upstairs loft area, and even a fully furnished basement stocked with a stage.
The inviting atmosphere is sun-kissed with a light layer of coffee aroma, probably another reason the establishment has attained almost a cult following of regulars and even semi-tourists, shuttled in from cities far and near to experience their brew of the day or seasonal hot apple cider, scheduled to make a reappearance in the upcoming fall season.
Formerly known as Coffee Klatch, Klatch Coffee Inc. have proven to be a passionate driving force in specialty brews, and leader in the war against the bland, the boring and the unashamedly bad coffee. Since 1993, the family owned business, spearheaded by owner and roast-master Mike Perry, have had their hands in every continent, strategically picking the finest beans, and even dropping a few Klatch Coffee Inc. locations across the pond while they’re at it. While their roastery headquarters are in the city of Upland with additional coffee houses in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, they’ve taken their business to the heart of Seoul, with their very own Klatch Korea. As if it wasn’t already hard enough with so many appealing specialty coffee brewing spots in the Inland Empire, there’s another on your list if you’re ever in Seoul.