Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mmmmm... coffee!

I love coffee. I love it so much that I drink it almost every day. Mostly I love Costa Rican organic coffee (freshly ground at home, of course), but have been known to drink non-organic when it's the only thing available. I love coffee so much that I am starting a new business selling Costa Rica's delicious organic beans and ground coffee over the internet to the rest of the world. I love coffee so much that esposo and I used to own a café in Ciudad Colón, that was so lovely and wonderful and different that the locals didn't "get it" and we had to close because we couldn't afford to stay in business. (Our house brew was the aforementioned Costa Rican organic.) And still I love coffee! I do not blame coffee for the café's closure.

Today we broke down and went to Port City Java over in Lindora (across from AutoMercado) in Santa Ana. Besides Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica is the only other country outside of the U.S. with a Port City Java café. I had tried to avoid Port City Java, since I knew it was a chain and hoped that it was not in any way, shape or form related to Starbuck's (who now own part of Café Britt, though few Costa Ricans know that). It turns out (thank goodness!) Port City Java is not related to Starbuck's (at least not as far as I can tell), so I can now go there for a cup of coffee with a clear conscience.

I must now confess: I love Port City Java! I had a mocha freeze with a gingerbread shot, and it was absolutely delicious. (And they use Monin syrups, much much better than "the other brand," which are far too sweet for my tastes.) Esposo had a simple iced coffee, done better than most anywhere else I've had one in the country. Prices for both are cheaper (and the drinks far, far superior) than the cappuccino chillers at either Pop's or TCBY. He also ordered a brownie, which came warmed (!!) and it was just chocolate heaven. (Side note: What would heaven be without chocolate, anyway?) They also had several vegetarian choices for lunch, surprisingly listed before the other menu items (I have never seen that anywhere in a meat-serving estabishment), so we'll definitely go back for eats one of these days. All in all, Port City Java is the kind of place that we have missed since leaving California, and it quite reminds me of Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co. quite a bit.

Why aren't there more coffee shops in Costa Rica like Port City Java? Costa Ricans love coffee and grow the best in the world, in my opinion. It's amazing to me that this is one of the very few coffee houses in the entire country serving a full menu of various, different coffee drinks. Sure, there are many cafés that have cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, etc. But how often do you see a steamer or a milky way on the menu, or just something fun and different, like chai?

When we had the café, invariably the locals (read: small town folk) would order a black coffee, sometimes with sugar, sometimes with milk, but rarely a mocha, latte, or something — god forbid — even more unusual. However, I think with Costa Ricans traveling outside the country more frequently, and the influx of foreigners into Costa Rica, this is all slowly changing (for the better). More international restaurants have opened in the past few years, and more will continue to open (we finally got one authentic Indian restaurant, though I'm still waiting for real Thai). This can only be a good thing, right? I mean, we're not talking about Wal-Mart setting up shop all over the country... oh, but wait -- Wal-Mart recently purchased a majority of shares in MultiMercados (which owns Perimercados, AutoMercado and Mas x Menos, the "big three" of C.R. supermarkets, among others). What this means for local farmers and businesses, and consumers, remains to be seen.

But I am rambling. Back to the topic at hand: Hooray for Port City Java! I, for one, am glad they're here.

1 comment:

  1. 3 cheers for coffee. What would life be without it?