A Decaf in Berlin

In preparing for a trip to Germany, we re-watched the movie A Coffee in Berlin (trailer here). Spoiler alert: the main character has difficulty finding a cup of coffee (as well as other difficulties).

As decaf drinkers ourselves, we know it’s not always easy to find the lead-free coffee in other places, but we always try. For some reason, no German speaker can understand us when we say koffein-frei, and in all the places we went, no one had koffein-frei. Maybe because we went to third-wave coffee shops (you know, the high-end, fancy-dancy, posh, hipster-type places with really good coffee and nice places to sit). I didn’t even know the term third-wave coffee before this trip.

What we discovered is that not only do these specialty coffee shops not have decaf (and we gave up asking), but most of the proprietors are native English speakers, from the US and Down Under. We would go in with our best German only to be answered in English.

We loved the courtyard of Father Carpenter, even though we arrived before their 9 a.m. opening time. Really? Don’t people need coffee before then? I did find my chai latte not at all spicy, but I hear the cappuccino was pretty good.

Then we tried Five Elephant (no “s”).

This little shop is near the beginning of the canal walk mentioned in the previous post.

My favorite, though, was The Barn. We were actually able to speak German, but the coffee tasted the very best here.

Of course, we had to sample the real liquid staple of Germany, too…

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Sanctuary Coffee

IMG_6007There’s a new coffee shop in town, so that means it needed to be checked out, of course. The Courier had a nice write-up about Sanctuary Coffee on Foothill across from Stater Bros. This non-profit venture donates all of its earnings to charity, including Inland Valley Hope Partners.

I had never been in the building before, when it was a clothing consignment shop, so I have no before photos, but the space inside is so welcoming, that you will probably enjoy these after photos.

Nice places to sit – inside and out.

Art on the walls.

The coffee was pretty good, too!

 

Pacific Electric Trail

IMG_3792A cool day before school started served as a great opportunity to grab our bikes and head to the Pacific Electric Trail. This former electric train path starts at the edge of Claremont and the San Bernardino County Line, but you have to know where it is, because nothing jumps out and says “NICE LONG, FLAT BIKE TRAIL STARTS HERE.”

The beginning of the trail serves as the least scenic portion of the ride, but once you pass through Montclair and get into Upland, the views improve. Every so often you have to cross a major north-south street, but there are lights and designated places to cross.

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I have a pretty fun biking companion….

The path is mostly paved, mostly flat, and as long as you are headed east, the breeze is at your back. Many people use this trail for walking, biking, and running, and once into Cucamonga, there is some evidence that horseback riders use the trail, too. No, we didn’t see evidence along the ground, but we did see places for riders to press the buttons for the lights. (Horseback riders or tall bike riders….)

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Figuring out that one of our favorite coffee places – Coffee Klatch – is close to the trail, we took a little detour for some drinks. I chose a Creme Brûlée Latte.

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We had ridden this trail once before, making it past this bridge before turning around. I had not enjoyed riding back against the headwind, so this time we rode farther east, to Millikan Ave. in Cucamonga, close to Interstate 15, left the trail to coast downhill for a few miles to the Metrolink Station. Unlike in Switzerland, we did not have to pay extra to take our bikes on the train. However, just three stops is still a little pricey at $5.75 per person.

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It’s helpful to know ahead of time, if possible, where the bike car will be on the train. Our guesstimate was way off, so we had to run with our bikes to the front of the train, but we made it. 15 minutes after we boarded, we arrived back in Claremont, ready to ride home, uphill.

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