It’s OK to admit you wait for a certain seasonal latte at a corporate coffee chain—one so famous it goes by its three initials (PSL). But in this year of change, why not mix it up a bit? In fact, make it a game: Try a new coffeehouse every week and order the fall specialty drink, and we’re willing to bet none of them will be orange. You’ll taste locally roasted coffee and brilliant concoctions while also meeting—and helping to support—brave entrepreneurs who are keeping their doors open.
Tiferet Coffee House
Fall specialty drink: Spiced butter rum chai
Also notable: Tiferet partners with several local vendors to stock its seasonal menu. Breakfast burritos come from the craft food delivery service, City Kitchen Sacramento. Also look for small bites, baked goods, salads and sandwiches from Estelle Bakery & Patisserie, which specializes in French pastries and artisan breads. All the food pairs well with Tiferet’s drip coffee and espresso drinks, as well as unique loose-leaf teas like Moroccan mint (which can be ordered hot or iced).
Shop in-person or online for: 1-pound bags of coffee beans, t-sac tea filters, loose–leaf teas and merch, including Tiferet washable face masks, cute tank tops, T-shirts and totes.
Fun Fact: This company is not only women-owned but sister-owned: Sabrina Berhan and Makeda Berhan opened shop in 2014.
Find at: 3020 H St./3939 J St.;
Pachamama Organic Coffee
Fall specialty drink: Honey Bear Latte
Also notable: Pachamama is a coffee roaster (the roastery is at the 20th Street location) and takes brewing seriously: state-of-the-art Slayer Espresso machines, Hario pour-over bars, Chemex brewers and Nitro cold–brew taps. This fall, in addition to the Honey Bear Latte (made with syrup infused with wildflower honey from Winters), try the Oaxaca Mocha, Spiced Chai Latte and Pure Maple Latte.
Shop in-person or online for: 1-pound bags of coffee beans, camper mugs, tin canisters, travel tumblers and a book of photography showing the coffee trail (“Connecting Worlds”).
Fun Fact: Pachamama is a farmer-owned collective made up of farmers from Peru, Nicaragua and Guatemala who formerly struggled to make a profit producing specialty coffee. Pachamama first started selling its locally roasted beans at the Davis Food Co-op in 2006 and quickly grew a loyal following.
Find at: 919 20th St./3644 J St. and (newest location), 130 G St., Davis; pachamamacoffee.com
Milka Coffee Roasters
Fall specialty drink: Apple Hill Latte
Also notable: Milka, named for Milka Benouar, the owners’ grandmother, is located in Mansion Flats in a registered historic building built in 1861. The Benouar family restored the formerly dilapidated Italianate/Queen Anne mansion and now serves handcrafted doughnuts, lemon bars, scones and hero bars to pair with their steamers, teas, pour-overs and unique espresso drinks. The Apple Hill Latte, for example, is an apple-cranberry-herbal-tea-infused ginger simple syrup with espresso and your choice of locally sourced milk.
Shop in-person or online for: 1-pound bags of coffee beans and coffee magazines (“Drift” and “Coffee People”).
Fun Fact: Every second Saturday, Milka hosts an online show featuring local bands and a silent art auction that raises money for charities such as Stevante Clark’s I Am SAC foundation.
Find at: 1501 G St.;
Shady Coffee and Tea
Fall specialty drink: Brown Sugar Spice Latte
Also notable: Don’t miss the house-made banana chocolate chip bread, the bacon cheddar omelet or the green apple mixed green salad. These seasonal plates go well with a French press, a cold brew or an espresso drink—all made with beans from Rocklin-based Mast Coffee Company. Also stop in on a chilly evening for the Dessert Hot Chocolate.
Shop in-person or online for: An insulated Thermos, an “Okay, But First Shady” T-shirt and a Cool Beans sticker.
Fun Fact: This family-owned, women-owned coffeehouse opened in 2010 in what was a drive-up dairy in the 1950s. Continuing that tradition, Shady sold hard-to-find grocery items—like eggs, milk and bread—during the height of shelter-in-place.
Find at: 325 Douglas Blvd., Roseville;