Food & Drink Awards 2019

Page 62 LUXlife 2019 Food & Drink Awards Hidden away in Orange County, California is a small coffee company that makes a point out of roasting its own beans. Keeping up the tradition for over a decade, we caught up with Tomi Miller to find out more. Laguna Coffee Co Inc: Best Micro Roaster 2019 - Laguna Beach Imagine sitting on the patio at Laguna Coffee. Just beyond the traffic, you can see the sea, watch the tide ebbing and flowing, waves crashing against the rocks. The smell of coffee, always fresh brewed, always freshly ground, overwhelms your senses as you grip the paper cup tightly. You take a sip and sigh. It’s a good cup. It’s a quiet place. When it comes from the Laguna Coffee Company, it always is. ‘We are a busy cafe that loves to serve our locals and tourists!’ says Tomi. She and Rene Shaffer run the place. Always bustling, a steady stream of patrons ambling through the doors. Faces old and new are met with a smile, regular orders are remembered. ‘We aim to build relationships with every person we have the honor of serving!’ Tomi enthuses. ‘We take careful care to serve simply the best of the best of everything.’ It’s an attitude that has definitely left its mark on the community. With regular customers coming in and tourists bemoaning that they can’t come back, there’s an ease with which the Laguna Coffee Company runs that sets you at ease. If you want to, you can wile away the hours just sitting there looking out at the beach with a Golden Latte (the secret is turmeric). What really draws people into Laguna Coffee is the fact they’re a micro-roaster. It’s something that the business has been doing for years, passed down from owner to owner with care. It’s a tradition that couldn’t possibly stop. ‘We roast our beans twice a week to en- sure our coffee is the freshest roast. We also choose carefully where our beans are coming from.’ The choice at Laguna is mesmerising. With beans from Rwanda to Columbia, and available to buy for home use if they take your fancy, there’s surely something for any self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur. They choose only the most organic products they can. ‘We, ourselves, watch what we put into our bodies as owners and want to make sure our customers receive the same quality we enjoy.’ This is why they are delighted to offer customers as much choice as possible, including delicious gluten-free, paleo-friendly and vegan options. This care for customers ensures that the service at Laguna is second-to-none. ‘We have the BEST staff!’ Tomi beams. ‘Our crew is fun loving and truly love their jobs! We love each other and each customer! You’ll find nothing but smiles here!’ Her enthusiasm is infectious and spreads through the company. It comes from a sincere heart as well. ‘We want to serve good coffee, but more we want to make you smile and build relationships. We want to look each person in the eye and let them know we are grateful they chose us!’ Asked what ways they’ve made changes recently, Tomi tells us about the new espresso machine. ‘That has changed the quality of our drinks!’ she grins. Looking forward, Laguna is hoping to embrace the communal atmosphere it’s developed. Apart from ‘keeping up to our standards of simply the best’, there are plans to give the place even more character. ‘We have a beautiful mural being painted in our courtyard by an amazing artist!’ Tomi tells us. It’s exactly the sort of thing that will add interest to the quirky little shop. It’s another talking point amongst others for those who like that sort of thing. They’re hoping to expand their brand. ‘We hopefully will have a beer and wine license by next summer!’ Tomi says. It’s a temping thought, the idea of sitting on the seafront, beer in hand watching the sunset. Imagine sitting on the patio at Laguna Coffee Company. Your drink is to go, but you can’t quite pull yourself away. Begrudgingly, you stand, walk away from the familiar orange walls and smiling faces. At least, you think, you can come back again tomorrow. Contact: Tomi Miller Company: Laguna Coffee Co Inc Website: