By Kathleen Mest
Photos by Monique Kuhlman
So many espresso drinks, so little time…
I love visiting Long Beach’s coffee shops and love trying new flavors. This is a short list of unique and popular espresso-based beverages in our community.
2701 E. 4th St, 90814 | 913 E. Wardlow Rd, 90807
With their newest location opening last April, you have 2 great places to try drinks created by owner, Breezy Church, and her team.
The top seller is the Instigator, an iced espresso shaken with maple, brown sugar and a touch of milk. It’s smooth with a hint of sweetness. Be careful… you’ll order it again and again… and bring your friends to try it too.
Previously a seasonal drink, Baby LA got a “callback” from customers so often, it’s now on their “Claim to Fame'' menu. It’s house-made vanilla, honey and mint shaken vigorously with ice and topped with fresh ground espresso dust. Absolutely minty and absolutely delicious.
The Coco Shakerato is a lightly rich iced beverage that is hand-shaken with espresso, milk, and house-made coconut creme garnished with cinnamon.
137 W. 6th St, 90802 | @confidential_coffee
Owner Denise Maldonado provides a community space with murals, games and books for families and friends to enjoy. The drinks are influenced by Mexican flavors and Denise regularly drives to Baja to replenish supplies.
Cajeta Latte and Mazapan Latte are the shop’s most popular drinks. Flavors of caramel and cinnamon make the Cajeta Latte a delicious treat that’s not too sweet. The Mazapan Latte tastes exactly like the peanut candy and is delectable.
But for me, it’s the Rompope Latte. Garnished with freshly grated orange zest and pecans, the scent of orange, the flavor of the rompope (an eggnog-like drink) and the nuttiness of the pecans creates an unexpected delight.
4121 Long Beach Blvd, 90807 | @themerchantlb
Kick back and enjoy your drinks on the umbrella-shaded patio and grab a bag of coffee beans roasted in Long Beach's first zero-emissions roastery.
The AXL Rose is black tea brewed with roses and vanilla, plus milk and espresso. Stop and smell the roses with every sip.
A smooth mix of horchata and espresso with a hint of cinnamon, the Horchata Latte is one of their most popular drinks.
A spin on the London Fog, the London Smog is earl grey tea, vanilla, milk and espresso. The espresso adds dimension that is well-balanced and adds richness to this drink.