It’s always nice to hear that a new shop is in town: Bakers and Baristas, a bakery/cafe/restaurant just opened up near my area. Conveniently located minutes away from Cerritos Mall, in the city of Artesia, California, Bakers and Baristas has an ambitious plan to serve coffee, weekend brunch, desserts, pastries, craft beer, wine, and a small bar menu. This is their first week on soft opening, so yesterday I went with my family to try some of the baked goods and most importantly, the coffee.
The concept of the restaurant is “fast-casual:” order at the register, pick up your pastries and drinks, or if ordering dinner, the staff brings the food to you. The restaurant space has many seating options and there is a plan to build a patio outside of the restaurant for outdoor dining.
Bakers and Baristas is currently serving San Francisco roaster Four Barrel Coffee, which owns side project De La Paz. Four Barrel focuses on single-origin coffees while De La Paz is a way for the company to play with blends. I think it is a great way for us Southern California folks to get a little taste of SF locally–Blacktop Coffee in Los Angeles serves Sightglass Coffee, for example. Or Blue Bottle in DTLA; Philz in Santa Monica.
The bakery items are from Candlelight Bakery‘s menu: yesterday we tried the vanilla doughnut and a Valrhona chocolate croissant. I really like the fluffy-airy texture of the donut and you can’t go wrong with chocolate and flaky pastry, truly. The doughnut flavors seem to rotate daily.
I’m most interested (for now) in Bakers and Baristas’ coffee potential. Their hours are conducive to after-work treats and weekend hangs: they project to be open 8 am to 12 am, Monday thru Sunday.
Espresso, batch brew, and pour over options (Kalita and Siphon) are available. I ordered a macchiato, latte, and a Siphon-made cup of Four Barrel’s Ethiopia Aroresa to go along with our snacks.
I’m still learning a lot about coffee, so I can’t really say I taste every subtlety and nuance from roaster to roaster, cup to cup. I am learning, however, that in general I prefer:
1. drinking espresso-based coffees made with beans from South American countries (Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, etc.)
2. I like nutty, caramel, and sweetness in my brewed coffee as opposed to floral, bright, acidic/tea-like notes
That’s not to say I won’t try other things; I have to drink everything to know what I like. But it makes me giggle that as I drink more coffee and accompany my friends or family on these little adventures, that I notice some patterns in preferences. It makes me happy to learn them, because now I’ll know where to bring guests if I know they like xyz characteristic or a certain style of coffee.
Back to the drinks. I don’t have all the correct terminology for this, but I liked that Four Barrel’s take on this coffee is approachable. I often find the acidity of African-hailing coffees aggressive and a bit more sour than I’d like. There is also the aspect of the milk interacting with those tasting notes that can sometimes make the overall drink “worse.” Very subjective here. We all agreed that the macchiato and the brewed coffee were better than the latte, where the mildness of this particular roast got lost in the milk. I’ll have to return a few more times as more Four Barrel roasts get featured to learn more about the roaster’s style. We’re not even talking yet about the baristas’ job in translating the raw product into a drink–I’m quickly learning that every step of the process (from “farm to cup”) has a great potential in affecting the quality of brew we gulp down.
Overall, I’m very pleased at the addition of this space to the SoCal food and drink map! They’ve barely begun (only two days open at this point) but I look forward to the roll out of the full food and drink menu later in August.
Bakers and Baristas
11700 South St
Artesia, CA 90701