Voyager Craft Coffee, San Pedro Square Market

A Finca Las Ventanas from Costa Rica, roasted by Voyager Craft Coffee and served as an espresso in its new location in the San Pedro Square Market in San Jose.On my last visit to San Jose, in April 2019, B2 Coffee was a fixture in the San Pedro Square Market. However, like so much in San Jose speciality coffee since then, everything has changed, while at the same time feeling much the same. B2 Coffee has, sadly, closed, but, with pleasing symmetry, Voyager Craft Coffee, which took over from the original Bellano Coffee (B1 Coffee if you like) on Stevens Creek Boulevard, has now taken over from B2 as well.

The basic set-up is almost identical, Voyager occupying the same U-shaped counter located on one side of a large, communal seating area at the market’s northern end. You order here and find a seat (or sofa) in the communal area, or, alternatively, head outside, where there’s even more seating.

The coffee is all roasted in-house by Voyager, with seasonal offerings on espresso (Cascade blend, single-origin and decaf), batch brew and with up to five choices on pour-over. Add to that Voyager’s unique destination drinks, their ingredients inspired by places around the globe. If you’re hungry, there’s a concise toast-based menu, a selection of cakes, plus the food hall in the market is at your disposal. And there’s a bar!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The San Pedro Square Market, in downtown San Jose, seen here in April 2019...
  • ... and looking remarkably similar on my return in January 2020.
  • Nothing to do with the market: just the cross-walk, but a very pretty one at that!
  • The front of the market faces north onto Saint John Street, as seen in 2019.
  • ... while here's the view down the left-hand side looking across San Pedro Street (2019).
  • There's an old Chevy truck parked on the corner of San Pedro and Saint John Streets.
  • ... which was looking much the same when I returned in 2020.
  • The view from the right-hand end of the market. There's plenty of outdoor seating.
  • Meanwhile, here's a similar view from 2020. So far, so little change.
  • The view from the opposite corner. There are plenty of tables in the middle.
  • The door in all its colourful, welcoming detail.
  • There's more outside seating down the left-hand side, sheltered by further umbrellas.
  • Beyond the seating, there's another door into the market. This was the view in 2019...
  • ... and here's what it looked like on my return in 2020.
  • If you use the side door, you enter down there, at the far end of the counter...
  • ... which you then follow towards the front, where you'll find the till.
  • Meanwhile, if you enter via the front door, this is the view you get.
  • Although the counter occupies the same space, it's undergone a major overhaul since B2.
  • Beyond the counter, by the front door, is this takeaway station, but that's about it...
  • ... unless you consider the rest of the market, of course, where you're welcome to...
  • ... take your coffee. The previous picture was from 2020. This is the view from 2019.
  • Once again, not a lot has changed. The lights, for example, are still there.
  • These long bundles of cylindrical lights hang at Voyager's end of the market...
  • ... while these vertical cylindrical bundles hang at the end of the communal space.
  • Although similar at first sight, their structure is quite different.
  • Let's have a tour of the market (from 2019). At the far end is a beautfiully-decorated bar.
  • As well as being beautifully-decorated, the bar is also well stocked.
  • A view of the communal seating area from by the bar.
  • There's more! Beyond the bar, you come into the food hall area. This has more tables...
  • ... and multiple food outlets...
  • ... extending around the corner in an L-shape, where there are more food outlets.
  • Back to Voyager, which has done a very nice job of making its little bit of the market green.
  • There's a set of retail shelves halfway along the side, opposite the counter.
  • There are the usual retail bags of coffee, starting with the Cascade blend...
  • ... and continuing with the single-origins: here are the Guatemalan & Ethiopian...
  • ... and here's the Costa Rican and the decaf from Zambia.
  • Back in the (B2) day, the menu was on this pillar as you entered by the side door...
  • ... but that's now been turned into an interesting mural.
  • Instead the menu hangs on a board above the counter...
  • ... while you'll find the cakes in a glass display case facing the front door.
  • There really is a very tempting selection there!
  • If you are after pour-over, the choices are on a printed sheet on the counter-top...
  • ... with all five options available through the Silverton dripper.
  • The espresso grinders, meanwhile, are on the far side of the counter.
  • There's the main grinder for the Cascade blend...
  • ... and two more for the decaf and single-origin, the latter with the recipe marked up.
  • I started off with a lovely cortado, made with the Cascades blend, which I had...
  • ... with the avocado toast for breakfast.
  • Before I left, I had the Costa Rica Finca Las Ventanas single-origin espresso, served with...
  • ... a glass of sparkling water. It was a well-balanced, smooth espresso...
  • ... which tasted every bit as good as it looked.
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Regular readers know that I love Coffee Spots in Markets, so it’s no surprise that I really liked both B2 Coffee and now, in its place, Voyager Craft Coffee. The San Pedro Square Market is at the north western edge of San Jose’s compact downtown, on the corner of San Pedro and Saint John Streets. The market has a large, open-air seating area at its northern end. A row of tables, shaded by large umbrellas, is next to the pavement, followed by more tables in the middle. Finally, in the shade of the building itself, are several sets of comfy chairs/sofas.

Three massive roll-up windows puncture the front of the market, with large, glass double doors at either end. These lead into a large, open communal sitting area, where you’ll find Voyager Craft Coffee, tucked away on a stand-alone counter in a niche to the left, its own entrance down the side of the market on San Pedro Street. Outside is a small, semi-enclosed seating area, shaded by more umbrellas.

The communal seating area, with its amazing, high ceiling, is flooded by light from the windows along the front, which are joined by two more down the side by Voyager. On the far side, running the width of the right-hand wall, is a long bar, with the communal seating in the middle. There’s a choice of comfy chairs, massive sofas, communal tables and small tables. An opening in the back wall on the right leads into an L-shaped food hall, lined with various eateries. This also has a separate entrance on San Pedro Street, just a little further down from Voyager.

Entering by the side door brings you to the back of the left-hand side of the counter, which you need to follow along to the till. Alternatively, entering through the front (the northern end of the market) you’re faced by the short end of the counter, where you’ll find the cakes, temptingly displayed in a glass case. From here, head to the left to find the till. The menu hangs above the counter, while the pour-over options are on a printed card on the counter-top.

When I visited the original Voyager Craft Coffee in April last year, it had just started roasting its own single-origins. These days, the transition is complete, with Voyager roasting all the coffee, including blends and decaf. During my visit, the Cascade blend was on espresso, along with a Finca Las Ventanas from Costa Rica and a Zambian decaf. These were also available on pour-over through the Silverton dripper, joined by a Guatemalan Huehuetenango and a Limmu Kossa from Ethiopia. The batch brew, meanwhile, is usually the Cascade blend, although sometimes there’s a single-origin instead (which was the case during my visit: the Guatemalan Huehuetenango).

I began with a cortado, served in a glass, the Cascade blend going very well with the milk to form a sweet drink with a pleasing hint of the coffee’s fruitiness coming through. I paired this with the avocado toast for breakfast, a single, large slice of toast loaded with smashed avocado, which was perfect. Before leaving, I had a shot of the Costa Rica Finca Las Ventanas. This was excellent, a well-balanced, smooth espresso, served with a glass of sparkling water, which set me up nicely for the day.

April 2020: Voyager has a third location, near Santa Clara University on The Alameda. You can see what I made of it when I visited in July 2022.

87 NORTH SAN PEDRO STREET • SAN JOSE • CA 95110 • USA +1 669-241-8835
Monday 07:00 – 19:00 Roaster Voyager (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 19:00 Seating Tables, Standing Bar, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:00 – 19:00 Food Breakfast, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 19:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 19:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 07:00 – 19:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 6th January 2020, 16th July 2022

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