I just returned from my vacation with my family to Disney followed by a quick visit in our hometown of Daytona Beach, FL. It was a blast and I got to drink some great coffee while I was there!
If you are unfamiliar with Daytona Beach, it’s a pretty stereotypical coastal town: A lot of tourism and retired Northerners. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing at all, but the coffee shops reflect our population and our population has always had a huge craving for some Dunkin Donuts. Which is totally fine, if that’s what you want then go get it, but Daytona has always kind of lacked in the specialty coffee arena but that seems to have changed since I’ve been gone.
As far as coffee shops go, I wasn’t expecting much when I went home but I was pleasantly surprised by the people over at Gold Leaf Coffee Co. off of Granada Blvd right in the heart of the town. The space is unique and the service was awesome. Steel Oak Coffee is the local roaster in Daytona that stocks their shelves with fresh roasted coffee and I was surprised by their variety they had on hand. I think they had about 5 single-origin coffees and I was immediately drawn to a Costa Rican coffee that was calling my name. The barista seemed new, but she wasn’t afraid to rock that Kalita Wave Pour-Over. I got to sit at their bar and watch the brewing process up close. Like I said, the barista seemed new but she was following some written steps that allowed her to make a great cup with no problems at all. The citric acidity of this Costa Rican coffee was delicious and it had a really clean mouthfeel as well, it was a great experience and the cup really did get better with every sip.
Another great thing about this shop is how clear it was for me to understand that they wanted to deliver a good coffee experience. There was no hiding, all of the brewing took place one foot away from me. I could see the barista measure out my coffee, exactly how she poured and how much water she ended up using. They offered several different manual brewing options and very fresh coffee. To me, that communicates a desire to bring an excellent cup to every customer. Clearly defined markers allow the customers to know what is going on. I didn’t hear any high powered blenders and they weren’t pushing frappes or smoothies, they were pushing exceptional coffee. And if your shop does push those other things, that’s great, do what works for you! But what I think Gold Leaf did a good job of was sticking to their identity and running with it. Decide what your context is and go.
I am so glad Daytona has a place like this because specialty coffee is for everyone! Even if you still love your Dunkin Donuts coffee, give Gold Leaf Coffee Co a try. I think just about anyone could find something they like to drink there. Looking forward to going there again next time! Highly recommend! Thank you for bringing this product to the city I love.