Alexander Payne/Daily Nexus

Alexander Payne/Daily Nexus

“Sugar and spice makes everything nice,” especially at Vices & Spices From Around the World, a boutique coffee, tea, pastries and gifts shop on State Street! As soon as you enter this cute little shop, you are overwhelmed with the delicious smell of different spices that Vices & Spices has to offer.

There are buckets upon buckets of different tea leaves and spices on their shelves, along with different pastries and candies customers can choose from and purchase by the ounce. On the far corner of their store are their different coffee roasts and pastries that will make your mouth water at first sight.

However, it isn’t just the extensive coffee and tea options one has to choose from that makes this place so delightful — it’s the ambience. Though it lies on a small corner of State Street with a slightly tattered blue banner on the outside, the inside is a whole new world. There is an entire section of the store dedicated to small trinkets and gifts that are perfect for birthdays and anniversaries.

The tables in the store have board games that customers can play, and they don’t offer WiFi, so you can truly enjoy your time with friends and family. The slightly dimmed lights and cool music playing in this small, cozy specialty shop makes it the perfect spot to enjoy good drinks with good company.

Being the creature of habit that I am, I ordered the same thing I pretty much do at every other coffee shop: a soy latte.  However, what differentiated this soy latte from others was the brew. Vices & Spices uses a slightly darker roast, so the coffee beans themselves are more bitter than at other coffee shops. Therefore, the taste is much stronger. However, the organic soy milk enriches the drink with a smooth, silky, sweet taste that juxtaposes the sharper taste of the brew itself. If you’re not a huge fan of bitter coffee, this place may not be the best option for you.

Another great part of this boutique is the selection of fresh baked goods they offer. Ranging from bagels to croissant to different types of bread, these delectable treats are the perfect complement to your coffee or tea.

Opened in 1975, Vices and Spices is still run by the same family that opened its doors almost 40 years ago. Their staff is well informed — and incredibly friendly — about the kinds of coffees, teas and treats that the shop sells.

With its long history at 3558 State Street, and years of service to the Santa Barbara community, its unique and calm ambience, its great coffee and delicious baked goods, Vices & Spices is the new “it” spot for all caffeine snobs out there.