Verve Coffee Roasters goes against the grind, taking java culture to new realms.
PLUS: The South West Regional Barista Competition hits Santa Cruz.
Starbucks—drink your caffeinated heart out. Java drinkers aren’t buzzed anymore on their coffee-in-a-box options. People want an experience to go along with their jolt of energy for the day. That’s where local coffee shops come in—they take out the corporate feel of things and re-inject the coffeehouse notion with smiling baristas, espresso from far-flung places, modern architecture, top-notch service, time spent lingering over those foam designs, and perfectly-timed brew. Such a place can even convert tea drinkers to the other side. That’s what happened to me one fine day at Verve Coffee Roasters in Downtown Santa Cruz. Co-owner Colby Barr slipped out of our interview briefly when he heard that I didn’t believe black coffee could taste good.