Pastries, coffees and teas galore! Though your Spring Quarter goals may have been to eat healthier, it’s almost impossible when you’re at a place like The French Press. Located on State Street right next to Old Navy, this coffee shop offers the perfect space to work, inside and out, allowing you to enjoy the Santa Barbara sun while sipping on a drink and snacking on a biscuit.
Known for their delectable coffee and tea drinks made with precision by their talented baristas, The French Press is a very popular coffee shop amongst Santa Barbara locals. Though the line is usually fairly long, the quality of the beverages makes the wait worthwhile.
“I was apprehensive at first about trying a new coffee shop, but after waiting in line and actually trying the drinks, it was well worth the wait. I got the Arnold Palmer, and it was perfectly tangy and sweet. I’m definitely going to be back,” Dinah Nguyen, a third-year biology student said.
In an attempt to venture out of my comfort zone, I ordered an iced soy chai latte (swapping chai tea over my typical coffee), as well as a bacon, onion and cheddar biscuit. The drink itself was a little too strong for my taste, but the soy milk did lessen the spicy robustness of the tea. Overall, not my favorite, but still good, nonetheless.
The biscuit, on the other hand, was a first of its kind. Combining all of my favorite ingredients of bacon, onion, cheese and bread into one treat, this perfectly-sized pastry was so soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, and just the right amount of buttery.
Offering booths and tables inside and outside their front and back entrances — not to mention, plenty of outlets — The French Press provides ample seating for all their customers. The speakers play fun music throughout the store for customers to enjoy. Behind the counter, you can see the baristas mixing drinks using a variety of techniques like the pour-over and drip methods and, of course, its namesake, the French press. Customers can choose from a variety of milk options like soy, almond and coconut, and can customize the drink to their liking.
One local favorite from The French Press is the “magic bowl,” which combines steamed soy milk, chamomile flowers and honey. The shop’s Italian-style caffé shakerato combines a shot of espresso over ice with a bit of syrup, and is shaken to a froth and poured. Overall, The French Press offers a wide variety of options that can be switched, substituted and customized, and with very knowledgeable baristas on the job, you’re sure to get something personal and pleasing.
The refreshing atmosphere and wide-open space makes The French Press a unique place to study while providing the perfect spot to people-watch and enjoy the sweet Santa Barbara weather. Located at 1101 State Street, this coffee shop should be on your Santa Barbara coffee shop bucket list.
And if State Street is too out of the way, keep an eye open for a third location of the French Press in Goleta near Chipotle and Kmart, which will open after renovations.