coffee shops (tea) on the grid

Disclaimer up front: I don’t drink and don’t even like coffee, but I do drink and love tea, and the majority of coffee shops offer tea as well, but most other businesses do not. So I can tell you absolutely nothing about the variety or quality of coffee at any of these shops.

I have long believed that the frequency of locally-owned coffee shops is a key indicator of livability and walkability. Though I’ve not done the calculations, I think this measure would be just as effective a ‘walk score’ as the WalkScore offered by Redfin, which uses a complicated and proprietary algorithm to determine walkability, measured as distance to amenities. Note that WalkScore does not assess the walking environment such as presence or condition of sidewalks, and safety of crossing streets.

I live in the Sacramento central city, the area bounded by the Sacramento River to the west, Broadway to the south, Alhambra Avenue to the east, and the railroad tracks to the north. I have focused my coffee shop visits on this area. Though there are certainly coffee shops throughout the urbanized county, the number of locally-owned coffee shops drops off rapidly outside the central city. In much of the suburbs, there are only chain coffee shops such as Starbucks and Peets.

My preferred locally-owned coffee shop is Naked Lounge, on the southeast corner of Q Street and 15th Street, across from Fremont Park. I go there for tea, and for socialization. For those who remember ‘the old days’ when people socialized more and spent less time on their computers, yes, I miss those days. Some days I write in my journal, some days I read, some days I talk to people, and yes, some days I too work on my computer.

If you also like to drink tea at home, as I do, I recommend Tea Cozy, 1021 R Street, next to Fox and Goose, with a very large and diverse offering of bulk and packaged teas. And in Davis, Mishka’s Cafe, 610 2nd Street, offers a selection of tea unparalleled in the region, so far as I know.

Below is the table I compiled, along with pdf and xlsx versions. The columns are what interested me, and the ratings are entirely my own, not based on any scale. Reuse means they offer reusable cups for tea and coffee service, outdoor means they offer outdoor seating, and tea indicates my take on the number and variety of teas offered.

I visited each coffee shop location on the grid. I attempted to take a photo of each, outside and inside. I also started taking photos of the tea service, but didn’t start at the beginning so only a few are in the slideshow.

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