Friday, July 29, 2016

Kuppa Joy - Fresno & Clovis, CA

Kuppa Joy (Website)
Original location in Clovis:
518 Clovis Avenue
Clovis, CA 93612

Newer location in Fresno:
1900 N Echo Avenue
Fresno, CA 93704

I highly recommend this place!

I've loved everything about this place: The atmosphere, the friendly employees, the interesting menu options, the homemade-looking pastries, the latte/coffee art, and the delicious coffee. Another awesome fact about this place is that its founder is a Clovis native named Zack Follett, who played pro football for the Detroit Lions. He decided to bring back the joy of a coffee shop he visited in London to the Clovis/Fresno area with the goal of connecting to his community. He has also spread the love and joy of God through this business, which I think is an amazing thing whether or not you are a Christian. 

This cinnamon roll was sooo good warmed up, and it was just perfect with my coffee, which I'll describe below.

Sometimes I like to buy myself a pastry and a coffee (black if with a pastry) or just a coffee and enjoy them alone. I think it's perfectly fine to go to restaurants and cafes by yourself. One time at the UC Berkeley Crossroads dining commons I got breakfast or lunch by myself, and a peer saw me and made fun of me for being there alone. I believe he expressed his shock and then said, "That's sad." I was already slightly self-conscious about not having my usual floormates and friends from Units 1 and 2, but I didn't see anything wrong with being independent. Ever since that meal I decided it's not cool to make fun of people for eating alone. People do it all the time. If anything, it shows that you don't NEED others to be happy.
How can you resist?

"The Fire" pour over: I believe this is actually my first pour over. The idea is that the coffee is made individually for someone to drink. How you pour the water over the beans affects how the drink turns out. I guess it's like the idea of "small batch" chocolate and other delicious things. It's more personal and isn't made exactly the same for each person. Anyway, "The Fire" is a new menu option that's a Nicaragua/Brazil blend with a medium/dark roast profile. Kuppa Joy states that it has notes of "Campfire Smore // Toffee // French Toast," but my cousin (Eric) and I are not really sure how people identify these notes. I guess I could taste these flavors if I thought about it, but I'm guessing they just need a way to describe the flavor to people who are considering their options. Anyway, the main point is that I enjoyed this coffee very much and would order it again. I love darker blends, and this didn't taste bitter or burnt at all to me. Speaking of Eric, he's pretty much my go-to person for local and Bay Area food and drink recommendations. He also lived in SoCal, so I could always ask him about that area too. He strongly recommends the almond croissant from Kuppa Joy, which I was going to try yesterday, but they were out! I'll try again.
The Fire up close
Below is a Kuppa Joy I ordered from the Clovis location on 12/30/15 when my dear friend and former classmate and roommate (I forgot we took MCB together!), Kurtis, was in town. We used to study at libraries and cafes like FSM (Free Speech Movement Cafe) together while at Cal, and I even remember us waiting outside of a library for it to open on a Sunday. Nerdy much? Lol Who cares? I actually started to enjoy studying probably because of the good company and coffee. I conditioned myself well. This time we studied together again but for grad school/work instead of undergrad classes. Good memories. The Kuppa Joy is espresso blended‏ with chocolate and creme brulee-infused milk. Love it! Not too sweet. I could have ordered another one easily.
Kuppa Joy at the Clovis location
Below is a regular cappuccino from the Fresno location on Echo. Also delicious and just beautiful! I think latte art makes everyone happy and excited, and it's perfect for Instagram. :)

The pour over bar at the Clovis location
Inside the Fresno location
It says "Kuppa Joy," but you can't see the "y."

Monday, July 18, 2016

Cookiebar - Alameda, CA

1606 Webster Street
Alameda, CA 94501
Second location in Oakland)

Grace took me to this awesome ice cream/cookie/ice cream sandwich place in Alameda the other day when I visited the Bay Area. Check out their Yelp ratings if you don't believe me! Yum! We both thought their peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream was really good. Everything was good, although we both agreed that the Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream needed some more cinnamon flavor. It tasted exactly like whole milk leftover from eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (except a little creamier than just milk), but it didn't have a strong cinnamon or Cinnamon Toast Crunch flavor. I'd definitely go back!

Peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream for me and Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream between a snickerdoodle cookie and an oatmeal cookie for Grace! Everything was delicious!

Oo..cookies 'n' cream cookies!
Even the font made me want to try their ice cream!