Link Party: 2/13-2/17

My at-home deskscape, coming together.
My at-home deskscape, coming together.

Here’s something I want to share that recently came back to me — in an episode of Twin Peaks (side note: I have a soft spot for this show and I hope the revival isn’t garbage), FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper gives the Twin Peaks sheriff, Harry Truman, a solid gold piece of advice. “Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” he says. “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

That’s the advice I also have for you. I’m not a big fan of the treat yo’self ethos that millennials like to use as an excuse for spending money, but both you and I should enjoy life’s small joys when they come. I hope you feel the same way.

Here’s what I read this week:

1. I already pre-ordered Joan Didion’s South and West weeks ago, and this review makes me excited to get my hands on it.

2. Meet George Howell, the dude behind the third-wave coffee craze and the originator of the Frappuccino.

3. A tale of fighting a Spotify hacker.

4. The next big blue-collar job is coding.

5. The fear of a feminist future. (This essay was written back in October pre-election and makes the assumption Hillary Clinton would be president, which makes this extra oooof.)

And a bonus: I’ve become a Candle Person and this one is my favorite so far.

Enjoy your week.

Culture Connoisseur: Zoe’s Very Official Southern California Coffee Awards

Smirking emoji.
Smirking emoji. (Also, we should talk about Special Agent Dale Cooper if you know who this is.)

One of my favorite things about living in Southern California is the close proximity to so many good coffee places. I appreciate the convenience of Starbucks (or making my own iced coffee) just like anyone else, but there’s nothing quite like a drink from an independent cafe. I’m no Yelp Elite, but I can enjoy a damn fine cup of coffee. So much so that I thought I should come up with arbitrary awards for the places I like that are relatively local. So tonight, I bring to you the inaugural Zoe’s Very Official Southern California Coffee Awards.

Best drip coffee that isn’t Starbucks: So I’m bending the rules a little bit on the independent cafe thing from above (and just this once, I promise), but I really enjoy Einstein Bros Bagels drip coffee. There’s an Einstein cafe at school that’s much closer to my work building than the campus Starbucks, and it tastes great with any bagel. Sometimes you just need an afternoon carb pick me up that isn’t Starbucks (¯\_(ツ)_/¯.)

I wish Klatch was closer to where I live, but it's probably a good thing because otherwise I would spend all of my time and money there.
I wish Klatch was closer to where I live, but it’s probably a good thing because otherwise I would spend all of my time and money there.

Best “treat yo self” coffee #1: Klatch. I started going here in high school with friends, and it is one of my favorite spots. I usually get coffee with a humongous slab of the coffee cake. It has a good atmosphere and lots of light. 10/10 would recommend.

Best “treat yo self” coffee #2: 85 C. I am not a humongous fan of Asian bakeries, but I love love love 85 Degree’s sea salt coffee. The first time I had it I got a huge first sip of salt, but I learned that shaking it is the secret. I still don’t really get the plastic film lid and having to puncture it with a sharp straw thing, but it tastes great.

Best enjoyed with breakfast: Some Crust Bakery. The last time I was here I got an iced coffee and a raspberry pinwheel, and it was a fantastic decision. My favorite thing about Some Crust is actually the waxy paper bags with the bakery logo, but I’m a nerd. Tl;dr get the iced coffee.

A honey cinnamon latte from Augies. The baristas know their latte art.
A honey cinnamon latte from Augie’s. The baristas know their latte art.

Best enjoyed with a friend after Thai food or a Eureka burger: Augie’s. It can be ultra-crowded in here — it’s in the same storefront as an ice cream place — but the honey cinnamon latte is a great after-dinner treat. Yellow metal chairs and cute baristas are pluses.

Best $5 latte that tastes like $5: Dripp. It is a really pricy place to go all the time, but every time I go I haven’t been disappointed. I recommend the vanilla latte. I also like that Dripp gives you a to-go cup that’s corrugated. If I’m paying $5 for a latte, I need all the hipster accoutrement.

A hand pie from N7 Creamery is basically a grown up Pop Tart.
A hand pie from N7 Creamery is basically a grown up Pop Tart.

Best enjoyed with a hand pie: N7 Creamery. I’ve been here twice — once for ice cream (which is also good) and once for coffee and a hand pie. I don’t know what was in that hand pie (apples and crack, probably) but the coffee was what really made it good. It was thick without being sledge-y.

4.5/5 stars, tbh.
4.5/5 stars, tbh.

Best enjoyed in Los Angeles: Philz. I went here on Sunday and I’m still thinking about this mint mojito iced coffee. You wouldn’t think that mint and coffee would go together, but it definitely does. My only complaint is that the barista made it hot and used a ton of mint, so the ice took a while to bring it to the right temperature. When it was cold enough, though, it was excellent. Again, corrugated cups are where it’s at. It’s probably the most hipster coffee place I’ve ever been to. Take that as it is.

I’m always looking for new cafes to try. Any suggestions? Leave a comment for me.