Acme Coffee Roasting Company

The Acme Coffee Roasting Company logo from the front of its coffee counter in Seaside, CA.Just off State Route 1 in southern California, east of Monterey, in the delightfully-named town of Seaside, is a parking lot. Not just any old parking lot, mind you. This one’s special. Although I did wonder, as I pulled in, if I’d come to the right place… However, there, at the back of the lot, in a low, garage-like building, is the Acme Coffee Roasting Company, purveyors of fine artisan, small-batch coffee.

Acme, which was established in 2004, roasts all its own coffee. Indeed, this used to be the roastery, but as the company grew, the roaster was moved to a dedicated facility, leaving this space as a lovely little coffee bar. There’s a blend and single-origin on espresso, plus a filter bar, where the drip coffee is made to order using pour-over cones. There’s also the obligatory bulk-brew if you’re in a hurry and a selection of cakes and sweet-treats.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Just off Highway 1, in the delightfully-named Californian town of Seaside, is a parking lot...
  • ... at the back of which is an unpromising, low, garage-like structure...
  • ... which actually houses a rather lovely coffee shop, the Acme Coffee Roasting Company.
  • It's not very big though, just a counter at the back and space enough in front to order.
  • This is the view from the right-hand end of the counter, just to give you an idea of the size.
  • There's also a lean-to type arrangement at the front with two stools if you want to sit down.
  • That's it for seating inside, although there are a few chairs out front, two on each side.
  • Back inside and Acme makes the most of all the available space.
  • Chalkboards on the front of the counter contain useful information. What's that mat say...?
  • I see! Not a bad slogan for a small, independent coffee company!
  • Even the space above the counter is used, in this case for the menus & some merchandising.
  • There's more retail and merchandising to the left of the counter...
  • ... and another retail shelf with coffee-making kit.
  • A handy map on the wall to the right of the counter shows were all the beans are from.
  • To business. The counter has espresso on the left, pour-over in the centre, cale on the right.
  • There are two lever espresso machines, one three-group and one two-group.
  • There's also the obligatory bulk-brew filter for people who are in a hurry.
  • It was hard to get a picture of the filter set-up. They look like generic metal two-hole filters.
  • The coffee menu, with more than a nod the mainstream market.
  • However, the choice of beans has some interesting single-origins, including one on espresso.
  • Talking of which, there are espresso blends for every taste. Motor City was on during my visit.
  • I started with a cappuncino in my Ecoffee Cup. Plus the last doughnut. It looked lonely!
  • This gives you a better view of the latte art.
  • I also had a shot of the single-origin espresso, which was served in a proper cup!
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That I found the Acme Coffee Roasting Company is entirely down to my friend Karen, who, as a Bay Area native, was bombarding me with suggestions as I drove north up State Route 1/US 101 on my recent trip to the USA. However, finding the Acme Coffee Roasting Company is not as straightforward as it seems. To start with, it’s not on Palm Avenue, whatever the address says. It’s actually off Contra Costa Street, which runs between Broadway and Palm Avenues, and it’s in an honest-to-goodness parking lot!

I really did do a double-take when I pulled in, but I trust my friends and, sure enough, there, at the back of the lot, was a low-slung building, looking for all the world like a garage, but housing the very lovely Acme coffee counter.

There’s really not a lot to the coffee counter. While there is some seating, it’s more of a drive up, get out, order coffee, get coffee, then drive away again operation, so takeaway cups predominate (fortunately, I had my trusty Ecoffee Cup with me). There is some seating though, if you want to linger, and a selection of china cups if you’re drinking espresso (so I didn’t need my Kaffeeform cup, which I also had with me).

The coffee counter is behind a roll-up door, which in turn is protected by a plastic lean-to structure with a corrugated plastic roof and doors at either end. This houses a small table and two stools if you want to sit in (I did) or there are two pairs of chairs outside facing the parking lot, one pair on either side of the lean-to. The actual space consists of nothing more than a counter with some retail shelves to either side, leaving the focus firmly on the coffee.

At first, I confess, I was sceptical, with the menu offering sizes starting at 12oz and going up to 20oz. However, there was a 10oz cappuccino and a 4oz macchiato and then I noticed the board with the various espresso-blends (six in all, including one decaf) and four single-origins, one of which, the Ethiopia Sidamo Natural Guji, was available on espresso. The house espresso (Motor City Blend) also sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a go.

I started with a cappuccino in my Ecoffee Cup and was rewarded with a lovely coffee. I’d feared it might be a little too dark for me, but it was actually very well-balanced, the milk and coffee in perfect harmony. Emboldened by this, I tried the Ethiopian single-origin espresso on its own, quite a rich, punchy shot, although not as floral as I’d hoped. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed both my coffees.

I would have loved to have tried the pour-over filter, but I was short of time and, by then, rather over-caffeinated, so I had to give it a miss. However, if you’re driving along State Route 1, then I recommend stopping off at Seaside and taking the time to find Acme and its parking lot!

December 2017: Acme Coffee Roasting Company was a runner-up for the 2017 Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.

485 PALM AVENUE • SEASIDE • CA 93955 • USA +1 831-393-9113
Monday 06:30 – 15:30 Roaster Acme (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 06:30 – 15:30 Seating Stools, Chairs (outside)
Wednesday 06:30 – 15:30 Food Cake
Thursday 06:30 – 15:30 Service Counter
Friday 06:30 – 15:30 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:00 – 15:00 Wifi No
Sunday CLOSED Power No
Chain No Visits 26th January 2017

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6 thoughts on “Acme Coffee Roasting Company

  1. I’ve had to skip trying more things not eh menu due to being highly caffeinated, myself. But if single origin espresso is on the menu, like you I’ll try it along with another drink. Thanks for the great article and heads up about cafes along 1. Not sure when I’d be out that way again, but I’ll check it out someday.

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