As a Starbucks veteran and Gold Card holder, I rarely fall loyal to local coffee shops. Sure, they’re great when you’re on vacation in a small town or in a rush to get a morning wake up. However, once I give the mom-and-pop shop a try, I, like many others, always return faithfully to Starbucks. That was, until I discovered Alfred Coffee.
Only 2.5 miles from UCLA’s campus, the newest addition to the Alfred family is something you coffee lovers cannot miss. Don’t get me wrong, I will always have the Starbucks app on the first page of my iPhone, but I would never pass up the opportunity to get a morning (and afternoon) cup of coffee at Alfred.
Here are the 7 reasons why you should ditch Starbucks (while in LA, at least), and give Alfred a try:
1. The Alfred Coffee Cone
That’s right, Alfred has a coffee cone, and it’s delicious. Now, not only can you enjoy your espresso or macchiato, but you can also eat your cup afterwards. With the unexpected bonus of a chocolate coated inside, who wouldn’t want one?
2. Location, Location, Location
Alfred Coffee in Brentwood is an easy run or Uber ride from UCLA’s campus. It’s across the street from CVS, and down the road from Whole Foods, which makes it easy to grab a cup of coffee while you run your errands. They also have plenty of outdoor seating, making it easy to take advantage of the LA sunshine.
3. Farmshop Pastries
If you’ve been to the Farmshop on 26th Street, then you know that their sweet treats are heavenly. Whether you’re grabbing one of their ham and cheese croissants for breakfast or a double chocolate cookie for a snack, you’ll want to go back for seconds.
4. Alfred’s Signature Blend
Sorry Starbucks, but there’s no competition here: Alfred’s Signature Blend is better than yours. Although $2.50 for a small cup (or a tall in Starbucks terms) is more than what you would pay at Starbucks, I can honestly say that Alfred’s Stumptown coffee bean blend is better.
5. $10 Latte
Yes, Alfred Coffee really does sell a $10 latte, and yes, people do actually buy it. As someone who spent 10 of her own dollars on this concoction, I can assure you that it’s worth getting at least once. With Pressed Juicery Almond Milk and Stumptown Coffee (Alfred’s only coffee bean supplier), I’d dare to say that the taste is worth the purchase.
6. Alfred’s own Gold Card
While this card may not actually be shinny and engraved, and the store may not have its own app, Alfred’s loyalty card is more rewarding than Starbucks’ is. However, since the card is made of cardboard and not laminated, you have to be careful not to lose it.
The card works like any other stamp card, and once you reach 10 stamps, you are awarded a free coffee or espresso. Call it old fashioned, but Alfred’s loyalty card actually rewards you more frequently than your Gold Card (At Starbucks, it’s a free drink for every 12 you buy, after achieving your gold status).
7. Coffee Cup Sleeves
Alfred’s coffee sleeves are almost as cool as the people that frequent their shop. Designed by local artists, the sleeves are both functional and a platform for LA’s creative minds to show off their artwork.
Rather than buying a postcard or keychain from a tourist gift shop, make sure you get a sleeve when you buy your coffee. You can use it to keep your hands cool while drinking and then bring home afterwards to hang in your dorm room or send to your grandparents in lieu of a postcard.
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