From the moment I snooze the a.m. alarm to 4 p.m., coffee is my main "self-care" practice; unfortunately if I drink coffee after 4, I won't be sleeping that night.
However, the day doesn't end at 4 p.m., though we may wish work stopped at 4 p.m., so I'm here to share what I do during the other waking hours of my life for self-care.
Especially as many of us are stuck chilling at home or working from home these days, I know for many people isolation is extra stressful.
As an introvert at heart, and living with an even more introverted boyfriend, I'm here to tell you this moment of social distancing is a great opportunity to start new routines, kick bad habits and start identifying what self-care means to you.
So while this list is what I practice for self care, it's also a list of things I'm trying to mold into good habits, rather than one-off "when I have time" activities. (...)
Can coffee cure coronavirus? No, no it can't.
But there are a plethora of health benefits you should know about, especially since it always seems to be a debate whether coffee is good v. bad for you...
Short answer: it is good for you!
Thus, I give you: Five science-backed health benefits of drinking (caffeinated) coffee (...)
This Bluestone Lane is one of the most picturesque chain coffee shops I've ever seen. One of 50+ shops globally, this particular Beverly Grove location doubles as a flower shop.
They describe themselves as an Australian-inspired coffee shop/cafe (and "lifestyle brand"), preaching quality products and expert baristas. I've always had friendly service, but not always the most knowledgeable baristas. Consistency lacks in the drinks, too. The first time I came to this location, I was blown away by their cold brew! The second time.. not so much. The coffee on tap was a standard-sounding medium roast, but a latte here is a safe choice. All the coffee is their own and they have a big menu, so I admit I have a lot more to try before I pass on being a returning customer.
The gorgeous interior is worth a visit, alone. Succulents and Edison bulbs dangle from the ceiling, painted flowers dawn the walls and bright teal tile contrasting with rich wood and charcoal gray features are just some of the atmospheric pleasures. There's plenty of seating - indoor and an outdoor patio with string lights and umbrellas. And unique to such a Instagram-friendly spot: comfortable seating! Cushions on chairs, backs to seats and pillows on benches. Seriously, the third wave of coffee shops consists of minimalism and back aches, if you haven't noticed.
The cafe has California inspired all-day breakfast and lunch menus and, the most unheard of amenities in LA, FREE VALET PARKING... I had to read the sign a few times before I understood the words all together in one sentence. Another few must mentions: Bluestone Lane runs a loyalty program via app and mobile order! This location also has a convenient "take away" walk up window. Beware - they are cashless! You must have mobile pay or a credit/debit card handy.
They have WiFi, almond and oat milks, a restroom and as mentioned... free valet parking! Though consistency needs some work, if you're on 3rd street for Bacari W. 3rd or Belcampo I do recommend you check out Bluestone Lane - they have a little something for everyone.
My ratings for Bluestone Lane:
First date spot: ☕☕☕☕☕
Work spot: ☕☕☕☕
Cold brew: ☕☕☕☕
Customer service: ☕☕☕
Coronavirus Got ya Cooped Up? The Five Best Coffees Available on Amazon Right Now! (no human contact required)
I'm typically a homebody when I'm not out discovering something coffee-related. So all this "social distancing" talk from the COVID-19 outbreak... Well, I've been training my whole life for this.
I mean, come on, in a day and age with Friends, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Key & Peele all on streaming? Just try and stop me from binging.
Luckily for a health-focused, self-caring soul such as yourself, there are plenty of ways to bring even the most life-preserving necessities to you in a snap... Like COFFEE!
You may be surprised to learn that Amazon has a LOT of quality coffee options to get to your doorstep - most in two days or sooner!
I present: the five best home-brew coffees (taste tested and vouched for) for when you're quarantined (or super cautious, or supremely introverted):
1. Stone Street Coffee
I'm partial to Stone Street's Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which balances a ripe cherry aroma with fresh stonefruit and crisp floral notes. This brand hails from Brooklyn and proves a consistent winner in my book. If I'm not buying from an indie brick-and-mortar, chances are, I'm buying Stone Street.
Available in whole bean and pre-ground, one- or two-pound resealable bags (if you're a one-cup-a-day drinker like me, opt for the one-pounder to keep things fresh)
2. Counter Culture Coffee
I've ordered "Apollo" multiple times because it's damn good for the money. While the pricing, availability and Prime stock fluctuate for most all of these coffee options, you can always find one of these five that tick all the boxes. Apollo is Counter Culture's Ethiopian standby. An organic lot with fuit, floral and citrus notes, to me this pick is the triple threat of flavor. If you want a bright coffee that will keep you up and at em', this one will do the trick.
Available in whole bean regular or decaf.
3. Maddat Coffee
A lovely budget option, Maddat's "Mindfulness Blend" (Ethiopian Sidamo) is organic, fair trade and gives 50% of profits to charity. The Ethiopian Sidamo is a delicious light roast, with notes of strawberry, lemon and honeysuckle. It's probably the best bang for your buck on this list and I don't hesitate to order a bag again when I want to shake up my routine.
Available in whole bean, only.
4. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC
I know "Fresh Rosted Coffee LLC" sounds about as fresh as "Honest Dry Cleaners" sounds honest, but in fact, this coffee is fresh... and delicious. If you're a hardcore, multi-cup-a-day coffee drinker but you don't compromise quality, this brand is a great option. Pennies in comparison to others, these bags get you WAY more, for less. The Ethiopian Sidamo Guji is a fantastically juicy varietal that will leave your entire mouth swirling with gentle citrus and hearty fruit flavors.
Available in whole bean two or five pound bags. Also available in sets of three 12 lbs. bags, whole bean or ground.
5. Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle is an ol' reliable for me the way Starbucks is for others. The Three Africas coffee is one of the few blends I really enjoy because, well, it marries regions all within my favorite coffee continent! This is a good option for slow drinkers like myself due to the size, and the vibrant acidity. This blend has golden raisin, berry and lemon notes.
Available in six or 12 oz whole bean only.
I'll end this list with an important note that by shopping at smile.amazon.com you automatically donate a portion of your purchase's profit to any non-profit of your choosing (here). Big and small charities alike, from ASPCA to Wounded Warrior Project... There are even some coffee-related non-profits!
Stay healthy, and stay caffeinated! ☕
*Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase from these links I may receive a small portion of the profit :)
Keep an eye out for a dancing goat, or you'll walk right past this place! Kaldi is one of outer LA's best kept secrets... So much so, that I selfishly hesitate to spill the beans.
Named after the herder who's goats discovered coffee around the ninth century, this was my favorite spot when I lived in Atwater. Not to mention, it's got a prime location down the street from the Anthony Bourdain-made-famous hole in the wall Tacos Villa Corona. You'll see swarms of people with Kaldi coffee and a breakfast burrito in tow on Saturday mornings, as it's a heavenly combination. (I recommend putting in your food order, then stepping away for coffee -- because your food still won't be ready by the time you walk back, due to popularity)
If you have a sweet tooth, Kaldi has some of the best pastries a shop can buy! I highly recommend the "escargot" (if they're not sold out). It's a swirled roll with almond, pistachio and raspberry (my new favorite flavor combination). ON POINT.
Kaldi has a small interior, with plenty of outdoor seating and probably my favorite big coffee brand: Counter Culture. They rotate drips every week or two, and while I like their espresso, the coffee is brewed to perfection, hot and cold. If you're a cold brew-drinker, do NOT miss out on theirs, made with a light & fruity coffee, all the notes come through even on the hottest of days. Counter Culture is consistently fresh, flavorful and pure -- as is Kaldi's preparation of it.
The baristas are admittedly hipster af, but without the attitude. They're just what I look for: knowledgeable, sincere and mellow like a Sunday morning. The vibe is very chill, everyone's on their laptop, maybe with dog in tow (Atwater is notoriously dog-friendly), at teeny tables spaced out just enough to side-slide between.
Paid street parking is ample (on the weekdays), they have WiFi, all the alternative milk options and a restroom! Come stay a while and enjoy the highest-quality coffee LA can buy.
My ratings for Kaldi:
Pour over: ☕☕☕☕☕
Cold brew: ☕☕☕☕☕
Customer service: ☕☕☕☕☕
First date spot: ☕☕☕☕
Work spot: ☕☕☕
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