Brick walls, real small. You could walk right past Recreational Coffee without knowing it, and that would be a real shame! Recreational is one of the most established shops in Long Beach, without a doubt. I sat down with owners Bobby and Corenne Hernandez to hear about the shop's history, and why they chose Long Beach for their (first) brick-and-mortar.
Bobby saw the demand for third-wave coffee in Long Beach, and pounded pavement to do research on if that was the city to settle in. He went around asking people, "Where do you get your coffee now?" "Would you be willing to pay a couple dollars more for a high quality cup?" "How do you feel about big chain coffee shops?" The response was great, and thus Recreational was born.
While I sat with them, I tried several different drinks, to break away from my constant Ethiopian, black. The "iced basilfruit," made with a Kenya iced coffee, fresh basil and fruit syrups, the espresso milkshake and of course, the Ethiopian Gesha (all amazing).
Bobby came up with the name, "Recreational Coffee" easily. "Some people do sports or cannabis-- we do coffee, recreationally," said Bobby. Another part of the name is the atmosphere he and Corenne have created. No snobbery, no "fast-food" type service, just fun and happy: In Bobby's words, "we require baristas to act like everyone drove four hours to get here. Being authentic is the key to it."
My ratings for Recreational:
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