Coffee, tea, roses or salsa? |

Coffee, tea, roses or salsa?

“Where should we meet for coffee?” When it comes to venues and variety here in Nevada County, we’re spoiled for choice.

“Regular or decaf?” is only the beginning. “Would you like regular milk or soy?” “A shot of vanilla or hazelnut?” “Wi-Fi connection?” “A smoothie?” “A pastry, soup or salad?” “Or would you like to learn to salsa, buy a book, enjoy an ice cream, entertainment – or choose fresh flowers or a gift?”

Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters on Maltman Dr. in Grass Valley offers a wide variety of organic, fresh-roasted choices in a warm-and-friendly environment. With the used-book store and a large dance floor on the premises, you can be reflective or you can learn to salsa when classes are in session. Snacks include homemade treats, made from the staff’s favorite recipes.

Dave’s Bistro on So. Auburn St. is another good venue for hot drinks and good books. (The aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and books is delicious!) Also located on So. Auburn as well as on E. Main St. is Carolines Coffee Roasters, one of our pioneer coffee establishments. Since 1982, they’ve been a vital part of our community, roasting and serving regular, organic and Fair Trade options, with beans for every taste – to enjoy there or take home. Grass Valley Florist on Nevada City Hwy. has dual appeal. If you’re in a hurry, try their Cruz Thru window; otherwise have a seat inside. (The aroma of fresh-cut flowers and fresh-brewed coffee is delightful!) The Cappuccino Factory near Staples in Brunswick is another quality drive-thru with an impressive choice of hot and iced drinks, smoothies and munchies. The Flour Garden, with its two local locations next to our two Safeways, has an organic bias – with homemade breads, soups and pastries. Valentina’s Bistro & Bakery in Brunswick is lively, welcoming and fun – with superbly presented sandwiches, salads and sweets in a European-style decor.

Penn Valley has two venues. June’s Cafe & Deli, just outside Lake Wildwood, is cozy, and buzzing with friendly energy and home-baked goods and sandwiches. Caleb’s Creamery and Coffee, on Penn Valley Dr., is reminiscent of a 1950s soda fountain with a magical menu of hot-and-cold drinks and ice cream (a fun venue for children’s birthday parties too).

In Nevada City, we’ve got Java John’s on Broad St., the Sugar Shack (behind SPD), The Spot (next to Amigos by the bridge) and Cafe Mekka on Commercial St. Each has its own character, charm and a touch of sweet decadence. If you enjoy being surrounded by art, Broad Street Bistro changes its displays often. In the summer, you’re welcome to relax in their garden.

Besides coffee, tea and wholesome food, The Ridge Stop Cafe in No. San Juan presents live entertainment and poetry readings.

Many of our coffee establishments offer customer loyalty cards – so drink up. The free one always tastes extra good. For opening times, Wi-Fi questions, entertainment and food, a phone call first is always a good idea.

“Whether it’s you and a friend – or just you and your laptop – life tastes better with a good cup of coffee or tea. Nevada County has a colorful array of coffee venues. Discovering what makes each one special has been a fun-and-flavorful adventure. We’ll be featuring more local restaurants soon.” Courtney Ferguson

Easy to prepare and enjoy, here’s a perfect afternoon treat from resident scone experts Brittany Ross and Ashley Purse.

Serves 6.


2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup cold buttermilk

1 tsp orange extract

3/4 cup cranberries


Preheat oven to 325 degrees convection or 375 degrees conventional. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into 1/4″ cubes, and distribute them over the flour mixture. Blend until consistency becomes coarse crumbs. In small bowl, beat together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and orange extract.

Add to flour mixture and stir. Stir in cranberries. With lightly floured hands, pat dough into a 9″ flat circle. Put the flattened round in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight. With a serrated knife, cut into 6 or 8 triangles, and place on a cookie sheet, lightly greased with unsalted butter. Glaze top with 1 beaten egg white and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Brush on glaze. Bake until golden brown, approximately 10-12 minutes. Serve with Earl Grey Tea or your favorite coffee.

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