I am a woman on a mission. A mission to sip lattes, espresso shots, pour overs, and all the presses at every coffee roaster in the Inland Empire AKA my hometown desert.
La Gare is the first in the series of roasters!
Located in the City of Perris, just a comfortable twenty drive to Lake Elsinore the city of mildly overpriced antique stores, Walker Canyon and the old ghost town Terra Cotta.
A huge plus of this place is that it has a lot of space. A downside to this place is that it feels like more like a cafeteria than a coffee shop. Free wifi makes the place worthwhile if you're cramming as well as the out-of-the-way location. It's situated on the historic main street strip of the City of Perris, right next to a bus station and metro-link line. While Perris is a small community it has that unique old-timey-western vibe that is so quintessential of Southern California's inland desert towns that you'll feel as if you've ventured off-the-beaten past for a work session.
I tried the Cacao Latte and it was splendid. The espresso was nutty and full, when paired with the sweet-tartness of the cacao bean and mellowed by steamed milk, the latte result was pure smooth.
The main feature of any coffee shop is the quality of their beans, naturally. So let's talk shop. Their latest shipment, which I had the fortune to try, came from multiple Guatemalan farms, not much of a novelty, as most roasters obtain their beans from multiple farms for variety and texture. However, what makes La Gare stand-out as a roaster on par with Arcade, Augie's, and Lift is the sheer variety of espresso brewing options. Boasting pour overs, Aero+French presses, drip coffee, cold brew, Chemex, and standard espresso shots; these options -- particularly the Aero Press -- can be a bit of a hunt to track down in the Inland Empire. All in all, while its a bit of a trek for me, coming from Moreno Valley, I would for sure head out that way again to try their Aero Press.