It’s 3pm, and you’re looking at a jam-packed few hours between now and dinner time. Maybe you’ve got back-to-back meetings or are shuttling the kids to and fro — or a combo of the two. How about a caffeine fix to get you through the rest of the day? If you work or live near downtown Redwood City, take a break from the chain coffee shops and check out the new kid in town: Bliss Coffee on Broadway.
Owners Jimmy Huang and Kevin Lei are local guys who have made good on their goal to create a San Francisco-style coffee shop on the Peninsula. The shop, which has been open since September 2014, is a light-filled space with a modern aesthetic. While the shop’s modern look, ample seating, and free wi-fi might appeal to San Francisco-based commuters, it’s the coffee that’s bringing local customers back. During a recent visit, I had a chance to chat with Huang, who says that business is growing, and that they’ve had “a positive response from the community.”
Bliss is all about making and serving great coffee, and that starts with the beans. Huang and Lei have partnered with local and regional roasters who work directly with coffee growers to forge relationships that emphasize sustainability, as well as fair labor and wage practices. Currently Bliss serves coffee from Verve (Santa Cruz), Chromatic (San Jose), Four Barrel (San Francisco), and Temple (Sacramento). Good inventory management is essential for creating flavorful, fresh coffee, so Bliss orders only what they need and keeps their beans no longer than 10 days.
The guys trained with the Four Barrel folks to hone their barista skills and can turn out your favorite drink with an artistic touch. Customer favorites and most-ordered drinks include espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos. Lately they’ve been getting more requests for the newly popular Flat White, too. Customize your drink with the usual dairy milk options, or go non-dairy with almond or soy milk. Want to really treat yourself? How about an affogato (espresso shot with vanilla ice cream from Palo Alto’s Tin Pot Creamery) or a Nutella Latte.
Yes, you read that right: Nutella Latte, a latte with a scoop of Nutella. Coffee + chocolate + hazelnut + steamed milk = (dare I say it?) Bliss. Oh, and if you need any more incentive to try this liquid treat, today is World Nutella Day… just sayin’.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, don’t let that keep you from visiting Bliss Coffee! Housemade non-coffee drinks include an assortment of freshly made Republic of Tea teas, iced barley tea, their own VB Pop (vanilla bean-infused syrup and sparkling water), and a TCHO hot chocolate worth trying.
While drinks are the draw, you won’t go hungry at Bliss. The pastry case is stocked with daily deliveries of sweet and savory pastries from the East Bay’s Starter Bakery, including quiches, tarts, and cookies. During a recent visit I treated myself to a seasonal pear tart that was just delish: red-wine poached pears, frangipane, and toasted almonds in a crisp tart shell.
Huang says that, going forward they’d like to include pastries from a Peninsula-based bakery, and possibly gluten-free options, but so far the challenge has been finding a local business that can keep up with demand and deliver fresh pastries every day. (Any 650 bakeries up to the task? Raise your hands!)
Drinks and eats are all available to go, so you can get your Bliss on the run. Of course, if you’ve got a little time on your hands, order your favorite drink, find a sunny spot, and indulge in a few moments of quietly catching up on email or just watching the world go by.
What: Bliss Coffee
Where: 2400 Broadway Street, #110, Redwood City, California
Hours: Mon–Thu 7am–6pm; Fri–Sat 7am–5pm; Sun 8am–4pm
Parking: Street (meter)
Have you discovered Bliss Coffee? What’s your favorite drink? Share in the comments below.