While visiting some friends in Newport Beach, CA we decided to stay in Long Beach at a boutique hotel called The Varden. After a late flight in the night before, our first objective in the morning was to get a tasty cup of craft coffee. We stumbled upon Recreational Coffee while walking around the Promenade area. It’s awesome to see third-wave coffee shops like this sprouting up in larger downtown scenes!
The space has a mellow vibe with unfinished brick walls and wooden floors. The front entrance is adorned with a wide-variety of plants hanging in the window and propped up on cinder blocks. There’s plenty of seating with a mix of two and four person tables and it would be a great place to get some work done. Despite being a Thursday morning, the shop was buzzing with local patrons.
After perusing the menu I decided to get their Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (Natural Processed) on pour over. They roast all their beans in-house so I was eager to try them out! “Natural Process” refers to the coffee processing technique where the coffee is laid out to dry with the coffee cherry still intact around the seed (rather than removing the skin like a washed/wet processed coffee). When the beans are left inside the fruit to dry over the course of a couple weeks, they absorb unique fruity flavors and sweetness from the skin and mucilage. These flavors translate to the cup of coffee. At Recreational, for their pour over bar they use a Hario v60 dripper that really brings out the unique flavor profile in the coffee.
We also shared the Avocado Toast as a mid-morning snack. It’s prepared with a layer of pesto underneath the avocado mash and laid over a delicious thick piece of sourdough.
If you’re in the Long Beach area, make sure to stop in and check it out!