Monday, March 23, 2009

Jones Coffee brews up a storm in Pasadena

Jones is a cozy spot for buying beans or whiling away the hours

I'm no coffee geek, but I do require two sturdy cups of drip-brewed coffee before I can leave for work in the morning. I've tried Intelligentsia, Lamill, Monkey and Son, Blue Bottle and Ristretto, among others, but so far Peet's Espresso Forte (fresh from a Peet's store, not the supermarket) tastes the most like I want my coffee to taste. Even though I started on Peet's when I lived in Berkeley years ago, I still feel like I'm buying an overly corporate product, so I keep trying other beans. Everyone said I should try Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena, which has its own farm in Guatemala. It's been around since 1994, but it was new to me. The roasting operation and a small cafe are housed in a light industrial building on Raymond Street, near the Humane Society. There's free wi-fi, seating and a bookshelf full of interesting-looking titles as well as snacks from tamales to soup. I bought a pound of espresso beans to take home -- they didn't taste as good in the electric drip maker as the Peet's, but they made an excellent latte in my little espresso pot. Jones is kind of a hidden gem, and I'll bet the cappucinos they make far surpass my own, so I'll definitely go back to try some drinks on the premises and check out the bookshelf. The prices are extremely reasonable -- just 99 cents for a small cup of coffee, $2.05 for a cappucino or latte and $2.25 for an iced coffee. They also have classes in being a home barista, cupping and brewing, if you need to take your coffee geekdom up a notch.
latte art at Jones

Jones Coffee Roasters
537 S. Raymond Ave.


Unknown said...

I'm so glad you've found my home away from home! I'm there almost every day. Mireya Jones also arrives every morning with a stash of the prized croissants from EuroPane, which are usually gone by 9:30 a.m., and little pastries and quiches from Ap-petite. My husband is very serious about the coffee used in our espresso machine at home, and while Peet's is also excellent, the longtime house fave is Jones's JC Espresso.

Anonymous said...

I too sort of cut my teeth on Peets in Berkeley during the '80s, which has set the bar rather high as far as coffee expectations. Which one was "your" Peets? We used to go to the Ashby/Claremont location which was closest to our house in the hills, but I spent a lot of time down at the Piedmont Ave. location too.

I love Jones SO MUCH. I've never had a bad cup of plain coffee there and they do the fancier coffee drinks really nicely as well. There's one barista in particular who does an excellent job, the really tall young man who often wears a knit hat. If he's on the machine the day you go in, you are in for a real treat. Also, the bread puddings they have in the mornings are fantastic. We keep two pounds of their Gamble House blend at all times for use in our Aeropress.

mattatouille said...

I've been meaning to go here for months now. I need to go soon. It's very close to where I live.

Anonymous said...

Jones is a fantastic coffee roaster. The staff is outstanding. I went in one day to try to beans for my Jura super automatic. I was received the best service of my life. I bought one pound of beans plus the associate gave me some additional beans to test. WOW!

Please support this local group of wonderful business owners.

Unknown said...

I'm also a big Peet's fan, or was. Seemed to lose its way. Then I found out that John Weaver, the original master roaster for Peets for 27 years, left and started his own artisan coffee roasting business. The coffee is the absolute best I've tasted, and I've tasted lots. His coffee is available at I buy it at Whole Foods in No. Cal.