If you’ve read my articles before, you know that I enjoy pretty much anything related to cafés and food. East Bay Coffee is no exception! A wonderful café located in Pinole, California, it’s the perfect place to get coffee or tea.

After opening its doors in 2012, East Bay Coffee Company has gradually become a staple in “Old Town” Pinole. As a resident of the city, I’d frequented it a couple of times in the early years but am now a regular customer. Inside its doors, you’ll find a hipstery third-wave coffeehouse vibe with its industrial-chic interior. The moment you step in, there are wafting aromas of coffee and tea, accompanied by a faint jazz soundtrack and some light typing noises from the people working on their laptops. It’s more spacious on the inside than you might be led to believe – it’s a great place to get work done, or have a chat with friends.

Order whatever you wish, but my favorites are the Chai Latte, Dirty Chai Latte (with espresso), Havana Latte (with condensed milk) and the Mocha (you can never go wrong with a trusty mocha). If you’re more of a tea person, they carry Harney and Sons, and I’m partial to the Pomegranate Oolong. They also have a selection of macarons, pastries, and quiches. My favorite macaron is the Ube (the Tagalog name for purple yam). Also of note: the staff is always friendly!

But there are so many great cafés everywhere nowadays, so what’s so special about this one? For me, it’s their commitment to the community and the arts. They have several ongoing events (Ukulele Nights, Open-Mic Nights, Gameboard Nights, etc.) and welcome a wide variety of patrons. I think it’s remarkable when a café can provide a community for an incredibly diverse population. For example, when I visit them on the evenings when they have Ukulele Night, I find a crowd of mostly retirees (with a sprinkling of little kids and younger adults). On any given Open Mic Night, however, you’ll be greeted with a buzzing crowd of teenagers and young adults, along with a handful of middle-aged and older adults. It’s a wealth of talent and a wealth of stories that come together and share art.

So the next time you’re in the area (northern East Bay), stop by East Bay Coffee Co for some great coffee, tea, refreshments, and company.