There are very few places I will drink coffee in the United States; Urth Cafe and The Conservatory, are my local favorites. I recently discovered Jameson Brown in Pasadena, and after just two visits, it has risen to the top of my favorites list. Like the Conservatory, they roast their own beans, and like Urth Cafe, they offer good pastries and snacks with their coffee. All three of my favorite places offer organic teas and water process decaf for those of us who are sensitive to the pesticides found in most commercial products. There is plenty of easy street parking and a few outdoor tables. Inside, the brick building is bright, open, and inviting, with a couch, a fireplace and WiFi for those who want to stay awhile and work or study. Friday and Saturday nights they have musicians who play for food and coffee, so this can be your local live entertainment spot.
The Mayan Mocha is my favorite beverage here, so much so that I not only drove 20 miles here the day after I first tasted it, but I also took two to go home with me (to be reheated later). Made with Ghiradelli chocolate, cinnamon, and a bit of spicy chipotle chili, this twist on a classic had a nice warmth which is absolutely addictive. The first day I ordered it, it was presented like this:
The next day a different barista made this gorgeous design on my Mayan Mocha:
One of us got the regular latte and even though I preferred my Mayan Mocha, this was an excellent version of the classic coffee drink.
For those who want other unusual variations, they also offered a snowball (made with coconut and white chocolate), and a lavender latte, and even the largest of these inventive drinks is less than $4.50 each! Their special drink this week is an iced latte horchata.
Their chocolate chip cookies were a decent version, not as decadent as Madame Chocolat's, but also not as boring as commercially made ones.
The bear claw was am excellent breakfast pastry, with a nice almond paste and streusal interior.
For those wanting less sugary snacks, they also serve bagels and Romanian flatbread, which is similar to a large savory tortilla.
Jameson Brown offers everything you could ask for from a coffee house, quality ingredients, skilled service, a welcoming atmosphere, and that rare ingredient found in all great establishments, a commitment to always doing their best.