BY CYNTHIA SWEENEY | Photo above courtesy of Ritual Coffee
Whether one is looking to grab a quick cup of morning Joe or has time to linger over a latte and a croissant, Napa Valley has a coffeehouse and a brew to satisfy any mood or desire. Relax with a bottomless mug in Calistoga, brunch and shop at Oakville’s gourmet market, sample a coffee flight, or bring along the kids for homemade cookies in Napa. For the coffee connoisseur, there is a plethora of specialty blends and knowledgeable coffeehouse owners who take pride in sourcing, roasting, and serving their own coffee.
Here are a few local favorites:
BARNHOUSE NAPA BREWS
Barnhouse Napa Brews is as close as one can get to an authentic English coffeehouse/pub. Located in downtown Napa, start the day with a specialty cup of coffee, pair it with a muffin or scone, or wrap the day up with a pint of local beer or glass of wine alongside an English pie or sausage roll. Barnhouse coffee is ethically sourced, and the owners, Eric Barnes and Adam Housley, after whom the brewpub is named, keep it affordable. They make a great espresso and offer a “proper” cup of tea. Can’t decide on a particular brew? Barnhouse is one of the only establishments in the Valley that offers coffee flights. Sample four seasonal espresso drinks so you can have a little taste of each. It’s the perfect place to grab a coffee-to-go or stay a while to enjoy a friendly game of shuffleboard, darts, Bingo, or board games.
1004 Clinton Street, Napa // www.barnhousenapa.com
For the person who enjoys dunking a freshly baked cookie in their coffee, one need not look further than Brewed. Tucked away in the Napa Outlets shopping plaza in south Napa, the kid-friendly café offers a long list of organic and custom-roasted hot or iced coffee options. In addition, the extensive drink menu includes a wide variety of teas, flavored espresso freezes, fruit freezes, and Italian sodas. While the coffee is terrific, it does tend to get upstaged by the cookies. They are handmade in-house by mother and daughter team Laura Saunders and Lisa Saunders Blanc, with selections such as White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Classic Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodles, Ginger Molasses, and more. For the cookie dough fan, add some sprinkles and nuts, and enjoy.
865 Factory Stores Drive, Napa // www.brewednapa.com
Relax with a cup of coffee at this local institution on the main drag in downtown Calistoga. Take a seat on the sidewalk benches outside or the nearby parklets—the perfect place for people-watching. The coffeehouse serves its own Calistoga Roasting Company, specializing in roasting small batches of carefully selected coffees from all over the world. Get a bottomless mug for $3.50. Smoothies are available to order, and for tea lovers, enjoy a cup served with individual cast iron teapots. The cafe also serves comfort food for breakfast or brunch, such as bagels with all the fixings, homemade granola, and freshly baked scones. As a bonus, owner Clive Richardson puts a smile on his guests’ faces with his friendly and humorous banter.
1426 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga // www.calistogaroastery.com
NAPA VALLEY ROASTING CO.
True coffee connoisseurs will want to check out one of Napa Valley Roasting Company’s two locations: St. Helena and downtown Napa. The family-owned cafés carry about nine or ten single-origin coffees from Indonesia, Africa, and the Americas, and they are meticulous about the roasting process. Hot and cold coffee and tea drinks are offered, as are house classics and specialties. Feeling adventurous? Try the Shakerato, with two shots of espresso, raw sugar, and cream– all combined, shaken, and served martini style. Learn more about the nuances of coffee and understand the differences among single-varietal coffees, roasts, and blends by scheduling a cupping-style tasting that includes creating a personal blend. Tastings are held in the St. Helena location.
948 Main Street, Napa // 1400 Oak Avenue, St. Helena // www.napavalleycoffee.com
NAYSAYER COFFEE ROASTERS
For the espresso lover, Naysayer is where to go to power up. Owned and operated by Chris and Beth Vecera, they offer specialty coffees, locally sourced pastries, and light foods. Located at Food City on Old Sonoma Road in Napa, the coffeehouse has a hip and vibrant atmosphere. Naysayer currently boasts some of the highest-grade coffee beans in the world, sourced from 10 countries and roasted in their off-site space at the Napa County Airport. Two coffees are brewed daily; more can be sampled by trying seasonal pour-overs. Perfect accompaniments include delectables such as fresh bagels, pastries, or prosciutto and black mission figs with honey-whipped brown butter. On the way out, be sure to peruse their myriad of brewing equipment.
1813 Old Sonoma Road, Napa // www.naysayercoffee.com
Part of Napa Valley’s history since 1881, Oakville Grocery is an institution and local favorite located in Oakville, the middle of vineyard country on Highway 29. Order a coffee to-go at the walk-up Espresso Bar or enjoy a morning cup on the patio with a warm cinnamon roll, breakfast burrito, or quinoa bowl. After coffee, shop for a wide assortment of gourmet goodies, including the store’s own brand of wine, pasta, meats, locally sourced cheeses, and so much more. Make time to explore the fully restored Napa Wine History Museum next door.
Finally, swing back to the grocery for an artesian sandwich, salad, or wood-fired pizza and a glass of wine if time permits. Take home a bag of beans and an Oakville Grocery coffee mug to remember your visit.
7856 St Helena Highway, Oakville // www.oakvillegrocery.com
RITUAL COFFEE ROASTERS
Based in San Francisco, Ritual Coffee Roasters is serious about its coffee. The woman-owned coffee roasting company is vigilant about cultivating relationships and sustainably sourcing coffee from smallholder farmers. They roast their specialty grade beans in small batches, in their iteration of West Coast style “light roasting.” There are six Ritual locations in the Bay area, including the coffee bar in the always-hopping Oxbow Market in downtown Napa. Don’t expect to get a French roast, but do expect an individual pour-over, and definitely try a seasonal espresso blend. Order coffee to-go and enjoy the Market’s gigantic outdoor deck overlooking the Napa River.