CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> Javatinis
During my recent visit to Southern California, my friend Mistah Rick came down from the Bay Area to join me on a weekend tour of the southern coast. On our way setting off from my mother's house in Long Beach we stopped for coffee in Seal Beach.
Located at the mouth of Alamitos Bay and bordering Long Beach, Seal Beach is a favourite location for windsurfers and kitesurfers. It was named after the seals that used to frequent the ocean, and it was a popular beach resort in the 1920s. It's the home of the Red Car Museum which features memorabilia from the now-defunct Pacific Electric commuter railway line that spanned Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It's also the home of the Naval Weapons Station and the retirement community of Leisure World. One of my favourite Seal Beach attractions is sadly gone: the Glider Inn, originally known as the Airport Club when it was built on the small Crawford Air Field, was a basic seafood restaurant decorated with model airplanes and topped with a full-sized glider easily spotted from Pacific Coast Highway.
Seal Beach's Main Street, which runs from PCH to the ocean, is lined with cafes, restaurants, pubs, the old Bay Theatre, and gift shops full of surfer clothes and seashell tat. When we spotted Javatinis we decided to give it a try simply because of the name. Located on the corner of Central Avenue kitty-corner from Walt's Wharf, the simple cafe is furnished with basic tables and chairs, with a scattering of comfy chairs in the front corner.
Our single cappuccinos were served in tall paper cups, as were all of the drinks being served, even though there is a photo on their website of a cappuccino cup. We did notice some giant china cups on top of the espresso machine, but perhaps they're reserved for the quadruple grande lattes. There were also a few martini glasses; but sadly they don't seem to offer coffee martinis, which is a bit of a shame because we both thought that would be worth trying. We suspected they might use the glasses for their gelato which seems quite popular.
Our cappuccinos tasted like tall cups of "cumulomacchiato" -- in other words, a cloud of milk foam marked with espresso. The bottoms of our cups were surprisingly weighty, even though the drink inside seemed to consist of nothing but beige foam. Was it pudding? Or smoothly clotted foam? It resembled the soft plush ears of a stuffed cocker spaniel I had as a child. (When I checked their website later I discovered the cappuccinos are described as "heavily frothed milk poured through espresso". I guess that explains it.) The coffee itself tasted nice and robust -- their beans are freshly roasted every day -- but it just wasn't liquid, as one usually expects coffee to be. We were tempted to ask for spoons but decided to stick to firmly sucking our way through the clouds, even with the hernia risk. Our cranberry granola scones were quite nice and provided a restful break from the task of sucking.
As we were seated in the rear of the cafe we were intrigued by the sign on the door next to us which suggested it was a tri-purpose room:
NOT A PUBLIC TOILET
As we found out before we left, it was simply a unisex toilet and not a manager's office as well.
Speaking of mildly surreal things reminds me of a recent short e-mail exchange with a workmate: