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“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“Coffee isn’t my cup of tea.” ― Samuel Goldwyn

Whether coffee or tea, a delightful place to indulge is Calistoga Roastery on the main drag in (did you guess?) Calistoga, California.

The aural atmosphere in 70s top hits and conversation, with a liberal sprinkling of British accents among the Americanese. One of those accents was Clive’s, which I discovered when he commented on the Union Jacks on my espadrilles.

Clive is the live wire who runs the place. I highly recommend his euponymous scone and can’t praise his servers enough for finding me one when it looked as if the last one had been snatched up.

Sharing the big polished tables with local folks led to some pleasant, unhurried chats of my own. Once I arrived in time to buy the latest Calistoga Tribune from publisher and columnist Pat Hampton and exchange pleasantries. Calistoga being a popular NorCal getaway spot, another time I found myself in discussing city life with an octogenarian who lives two streetcar stops away from me.

Enjoy the art along with your cuppa. The walls are a collage of retro coffee advertising, from metal signs to framed ads to clocks. Not your style? There’s a black-and-gray painting that recalls Motherwell and an exuberant mobile constructed of curving metal and lawn-size Christmas ornaments. A rear wall is a gallery of paintings by local artists. The sea, the sky, and the mountains are popular subjects.

Old hippies take note: A sign cordially invites you to use the back door. No one cards, so feel free to use the front and back portals as convenient.

http://calistogaroastery.com/pages/Caf%C3%A9.html

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