The worst part about the office is having your coworkers stomp on your laptop in the middle of an email, am I right? This was happening to me on a daily basis because, well, my coworkers are my cats. Welcome to the world of working from hooooome. A low stress, cozy, comfortable environment to work in, complete with a large set of accidental naps, pet accidents, and abrupt surges to color coordinate all your clothes and condiments.
So, on my obvious quest to fight the distraction dragon, I visited 8 different Sacramento grown coffee shops in hopes to find the place for me. As a local shopping, home cooking, sustainable living, young professional, I broke down my assessment into four categories: 1.Quality of coffee, 2.Work environment, 3.Feng shui(aesthetic vibes!), and 4. Sustainability.
Chocolate Fish: Folsom Blvd
Ahh the anticipation! I’ve been waiting to try this place for so long. I order my almond milk latte, take a sit, open my laptop, and uh oh. No wifi! I dun goofed again. Definitely not a place to get work done since I can’t do work but perhaps an awesome spot to grab a beer and read a book. It’s off the grid and feels kind of like a fresh start for some reason. A nice change of pace, tasty coffee, and great service. I would definitely go back if I was in the neighborhood.
Naked Lounge: 16th and Q
My old friend naked lounge. Not a strip club. Always there for me when I need ‘em, especially when I’m lookin to get some whipped cream on my ding dang coffee. Which is much harder to find in this town than you might think. This newly renovated spot disguises itself as a house on its busy corner of Q and 16th. This is an awesome place to stop in when you're out and about on the town with friends, but if you're hoping to post up then be prepared for distractioooons! The cozy bright colored couches in front make me sleepy, but like I said before, they are always there for ya when you need them, especially since their open late!
Station 38: J and 38th
The new shop on the block is definitely giving the grid a run for its money. With fresh bites and unique coffee creations it almost deserves the title of cafe. Now, I hate to say this but, the drink varieties are a bit…. Basic. But oh hunnty a girl can get down with the basic life if that means I get some seasonal drinks and some whipped freakin cream. This is a place I would take my family when they're in town since there are options for just about everyone including the coffee inexperienced(me 2 years ago). On weekends they have cereal, which makes me want to hug people for some reason, and their breakfast sandwiches are almost as finger lickin good as their prices. They could use a bit of work on their sustainable practices as I did see a lot of plastic flowing around but an all around charming experience.
Temple: K and 21st
I’m sure you’ve heard of it. The most instagrammable coffee spot in town. Temple on K. For starters the floor is made of pennies and there's a motorcycle ( I learned you’re not allowed to sit on) in the middle of the shop. It’s such an attractive place to get work done, that is if you can find a seat with an outlet. Not very likely since this is one of the most trafficked places on the grid. Which makes sense since it looks so dang cool and futuristic in there. It kind of makes you want to meld into the wall especially since the coffee is so tasty. Light snacks and pastries stare at you through the glass display and some of them were served in jars(tear). My favorite part? Seeing metal straws for sale at the front of the counter. Giving people the option to be mindful is more than enough to make a difference. Stop in, take a pic, take a sip and if you can find a seat, take a sit! And if you can find a bathroom….
Philz: Ice Blocks
Bring a sweater cause this baby sits on the coolest property in town. The ice blocks! This unique coffee concept originated in the bay area and made is way on over to sac town and can I just say, I’m so happy it did! I literally had a freak out session for about 2 hours since they continued to play the angelic voice of SZA while I noshed on some avocado toast.(clearly a millennial) I mean, have you ever seen a barisa create a 3 foot long stream of coffee while pouring it into your cup? Wild. Even more wild… There's no freakin plastic!! Yeah baby! All drinks, hot or iced are served in a compostable paper cup which should be commonplace by now but baby steps. There’s no real need for a plastic cup unless you like lookin at ice. Ya weirdo...it’s just ice! On top of that, they have COMPOST bins. Oh my lordy jesus christ I had to sit down twice so as not to make a scene. I’m proud of this business for putting sustainability at the fore. I highly recommend this spot for a fresh twist on coffee and a bit of mindfulness, but as you might have gathered, there is a whole heck of a lot going on in there. If you're someone who needs background noise to get work done then this is the place for you. Otherwise, it’s a hip spot to just chill!
The Mill: 19th and I
Just about the hippest, most zen place on the planet equipped with a beautiful flourishing patio and Waffles. W A F F L L E S. I don’t know who’s idea that was but I hope they get a promotion with some fresh syrup on top.
The decor here, is simplistic with a hint industrial and overall feels like an organic living magazine. Especially since the the vibe is incredibly inviting and everything down to the chai is house made. I was especially ecstatic to find tiny spoons instead of sticks for mixin up your brews. Whoo! For me, this is a space to gather with friends while soaking in zen vibes and delightful ambiance. It’s hand down must visit for sacramentans, waffle lovers, and sustainability fiends!
Camellia: Wal Public Market
Hands down, without a doubt best coffee in town. I’m not a certified expert but I got taste buds and they would probably consider Camellia Coffee “the club” after dancin’ so hard. I seriously love this establishment with all my little heart especially since the staff is so warm and inviting every. Single. Time. The iconic glowing symbol that sits atop a pink bench adds to the entire brand experience of the business. This is my go to spot for a breakfast sando and a coffee on my way about the town. Not to mention Fish Face Poke Bar offers a savory lunch option right across the way. The only downside to this spot is that fact that it is not a solo coffee shop. It shares it’s walls with some other small businesses and therefore makes it a difficult place to sit down and get work done. So do what I do and buy a bag(or ask to fill a jar) of beans and put it in ya french press at home!
Pachamama: 20th & J
Ladies and gentleman…. I got my work done. There’s something about this place that just feels serene and approachable. This is one of their newer locations but it certainly feels like a sacramento staple to me. The coffee is awesome and they are the only place I’ve found serving refillable growlers. Sustainable win! I’m also happy to announce they they started serving breakfast burritos from the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (do NOT get me started). It’s not a huge space but there always seems to be a seat for me and minimal distractions. The clean blue color scheme and moss wall really did a number on me so I can honestly say this my spot for when I have a deadline.
The most important piece of this endeavor was learning how to be more intentional with my space, time, and consumption to encourage productivity. That being said, sustainability was one of the most crucial factors in my decisions since I choose to live a mostly waste free lifestyle. I wanted to do some research to see just how forward thinking this community truly was and I was incredibly pleased with small efforts these businesses are making.
If I had to pick one place that encompassed all of my criteria, I would likely choose Pachamama. However, in going to different spots everyday, I learned that the environment you choose can be dependent on your mood or agenda in those moments. Many of theses places left me feeling inspired to take on my tasks in different ways.
Just like working from home, the hardest part of sustainability is simply getting started. Or at least if can feel that way. Luckily there are resources to help guide us into theses process and it’s all right here in our community. If you’re someone looking to learn more about sustainability in your community, look no further. @SuatainableSac is here to give you tips and tricks on how to be more mindful and intentional in your day to day living. There are so many amazing coffee shops I frequent that I didn’t include in this article (article part 2?) From the restaurant to the coffee shops, Sacramento is one if the warmest communities I think any of us have ever been a part of. So go get yourself a cup of joe and bask in its warmth.
To see my coffee shop stories as if you were there check out the “Coffee’s It” Highlights on my personal instagram page @delaynafitz and follow @sustainablesac for more restaurant reviews on sustainability. Cheers Kiddos!
By Delayna Fitzgerald (@delaynafitz) Ft. @SustainableSac