documentation of my neuroses, eccentricities, imperfections, lame puns & other rad bullshit



Hello, my name is Riley and I am considered a regular at multiple coffee shops. Many baristas remember my order as soon as they see my face in line. Currently, I am cradling a cup of coffee in my hand. Dark roast is running through my veins. I burn the roof of my mouth every time I take another drink. There’s a lot worse things to be addicted to..right?

Okay, I’m going to start off by admitting that I am that annoying individual who has to go to the back of the line because she still hasn’t decided what to order by the time she gets to the front. But let’s be real here, it’s such a struggle when you’re in a new place, feeling ballsy, and are bombarded by a menu full of items that all sound equally divine. Yes, I sound like such a nincompoop, but I know these nincompoop life obstructions are somewhat relatable to your norm problems. Soooo, I decided to compile a list of a few of my favorite coffee shops that y’all should definitely check out. BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

I also included the drink that you ABSOLUTELY need to try when you go there.

  1. Macy’s European Coffeehouse- Macy’s Special- The name doesn’t lie. This drink is basically the two most essential substances on this planet (hot chocolate & coffee) combined with the utmost soul to produce an incredible drink that always includes a rad design on the top (a guaranteed instagram aesthetic)
  2. Elevate Coffee Company- Blended Dirty Chai With Almond Milk – Okay, okay, this drink is to die for. It has a higher value than my life. No joke. I can’t even put into words how it tastes because no adjectives are worthy enough. & everytime I bring friends to Elevate, I force them to order this exact drink- gutsy I know. But it’s been a success every. single. time. hell. yes.
  3. Elevate Coffee Company again– Rude Awakening- Make sure you request “no room” because you need to experience the full ride with this caffeine loaded body shaker. It’s like doing drugs minus the illegal part. Go for it kids.
  4. Dutch Bro’s Coffee- “Your Favorite Coffee Drink” “Give Me The Best Thing You Can Possibly Make”- I get more hyped about the Dutch Bro’s atmosphere than the coffee itself, so that’s why’d I’d recommend taking a shot in the dark by ordering one of the worker’s favorite drinks. Don’t get me wrong, they have delicious beverages, but if you took away the people & the music, it’d probably look like Wicked. Never heard of Wicked? Exactly. But this is the place to be open-minded & try a staff pick because if it doesn’t taste how you want it to, they won’t hesitate to fix it up.
  5. Sip Coffee and Beer Garage- Cold Brew Coffee- Sip is soooo underrated. This old car shop traded oil for coffee & alcohol & is the place to hit up at night. & it is dog friendly too..that’s how it won my heart. I’ve never tried their cold brew, but Tori, a barista & espresso expert, claims it to be “an enigmatic phenomena that cleanses the ignorant mind and sends a subliminal message of prudence.”
  6. Cultured- Matcha Green Tea Latte with Almond Milk- Oh Cultured, you left the universe all too quickly. You impacted the hearts of many, as well as provided college students a place to overdose on froyo samples. God bless & may you rest in peace. & lemme tell ya, their matcha green tea latte hit the spot. Ah, the good ol’ days. However, since they are no longer with us today (sorry unemployed Tori), I’d try the matcha at The Flagstaff Collective because rumor has it that this coffee shop “borrowed” Culture’s recipes.
  7. Gypsy Den- Banana Mocha- You dig Roosevelt Row? Admit it, you are an artsy, nonconformist hipster. Well, if you happen to be in Costa Mesa (SoCal), check out The Lab (where Gypsy Den is located). I recently found myself at this coffee shop without a clue of what to expect & damn it was love at first sight. Definitely order the banana mocha, which is basically bananas, mocha, espresso, & a bunch of other good shit blended together. It’s truly one of a kind. & quite magical.

Try these drinks. They will ease the pain of your sad, mediocre lives. 

I strongly believe that every person should go chill at a coffee shop at least once a week. It’s a great place to catch up with friends, as well as catch up on that homework we all procrastinate. It’s a great place to relax, unwind, appease, take a breather, meditate…I always seem to have epiphanies and moments of enlightenment while inhaling a smooth cup of coffee.

P.S. There will be a part 2, 3, 4, etc. of this post because as I proudly stated earlier, I, Riley Irwin am an addict.

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