Explaining why you need espresso is like explaining why some people comment on Facebook using all-capital letters: sometimes, it’s just what you gotta do.
Espresso is the all-caps version of coffee; it shouts for your attention, out of that tiny little cup, and rewards you for your good taste. And even better, Nov. 23 is officially National Espresso Day.
Although there is no mistaking espresso’s Italian soul, it’s a drink that’s been adopted and co-opted the world over — yes, even in the Coachella Valley.
Here are four places to enjoy a cup.
When chef and owner Philippe Caupain brought the delights of Belgian cuisine to Rancho Mirage, Si Bon instantly became a daily stop for lovers of haute cuisine and hot espresso. They grind their own Lavazza™ Italian coffee beans, and the aroma is enough to overwhelm your senses — exactly what you need first thing in the morning.
Si Bon, 40101 Monterey Ave., Rancho Mirage, 760-837-0011, http://www.sibon-sogood.com/
The local champ, and the place to be seen for locals and visitors alike — it helps that the coffee is great, and the espresso is even better. Koffi’s barista’s are all regarded as rock stars, and rightly so: consistently magnificent espresso from Koffi's own name-brand beans, made right every time, in every location. Perfection.
Koffi, 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive and 1700 S. Camino Real, Palm Springs; 71-380 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage; http://www.kofficoffee.com/
FRENCH CORNER CAFE
A smidgen of France unexpectedly dropped into the middle of a parking lot in Palm Desert. The chefs at French Corner Cafe — Mireya Garcia, Lorena Garcia and Cesar Mercado — offer an amazing assortment of salades and entrees, it’s true. But a freshly-brewed espresso and one of pastry chef Aimeric Davy’s amazing macarons makes for a truly transcendent experience. Be prepared to linger.
French Corner Cafe, 72423 Highway 111, Palm Desert, 760-568-5362; http://www.frenchcornercafe.com/home.html
When owner Jaime Kowel and designer Chris Pardo opened Ernest in the Uptown District of Palm Springs, they honored Ernest Gantt’s original Tiki fever dream instead of replacing it. The highest praise from locals? It feels like they’ve always been here. They take espresso as seriously as you do, and they use Stumptown Coffee™ beans and nothing else. When they say espresso they mean it — earnestly.
Ernest Coffee, 1101 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-318-4154; http://www.ernestcoffee.com/