The next time you and your friends get into an argument over which is better -- the double D's or Starbucks -- throw them a curve ball and wager there may not be a cup of coffee better than the one you'll get at newly-opened Coastars Coffee Bar in Lake Worth.
When co-owners Chris Palacio and Elizabeth Brach opened Coastars off J Street in January in the heart of downtown, part of their vision meant making a cup of coffee more than just a cup of steaming hot caffeine, sugar and cream. To do so, that means using specialty ground coffee, and employing a brewing process that we guarantee you won't see happening anywhere else here in South Florida.
"Here, we treat the coffee the same way restaurants treat food. That means we make it one cup at a time," Palacio tells Clean Plate Charlie.
These days pretty much everyone has tried a taste of craft something. We've got craft cocktails, craft beer, small-batch liquors and boutique wines. But craft coffee? Yes -- but only at Coastars, where each 16-ounce cup (there is only one size) is brewed to order as Palacio or one of his team members attend to pouring custom orders three cups at a time.
The process begins when your brew "master" weighs and measures the perfect amount of coffee beans for just one cup. Next, a special grind before water -- brought to boil in a kettle to an exact temperature -- is slowly poured until the rich, aromatic liquid fills your cup.
The coffee Palacio swears by: Counter Culture Coffee, the shop's signature product. Based in Durham, North Carolina, Counter Culture Coffee globally sources USDA organic coffee cultivated using only sustainable farming methods. At Coastars, it's used to make both hand-drip coffee and espresso drinks.
To parallel the art behind the coffee bar, the team also developed their space to as a sort of mecca to the local music and art community. "We wanted a specialty coffee shop that would double as a hub for local musicians and artists to showcase their work," said Palacio.
An edible work of art, however, would be the white chocolate mocha. Chunks of white chocolate are melted with steam from the espresso machine, blended with hot milk, and given a final hit of flavor thanks to a shot or two of fresh ground espresso.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.