PHOTOGRAPHS BY TAYLOR G. SIMPSON
Steven Garcia doesn’t take it for granted that the coffee shop he opened in 2019 has become a destination. “It’s cool to be one of the main attractions that draws people into the city of Coachella,” says Garcia. “People come from surrounding cities to visit this really good coffee shop that they’ve heard about. They come down to Sixth Street, they see how beautiful it is, and they ask themselves, ‘Why have I never been down here? It’s so pretty.’”
Many customers return to Sixth Street often once they try the coffee shop’s cold brew, espresso, and tea. The lattes receive the most love, a fact Garcia credits to the creative syrups made in-house. “The horchata latte is our most popular drink,” he says. “We do the steeping of the rice and the cinnamon sticks, blending it and adding the sweeteners.”
Other Mexican-inspired drinks include mazapan, a rich flavor based on the beloved peanut candy, and honey con canela, or cinnamon. The team is always developing new treats. “We all go through a taste test,” Garcia says of the process. “I ask, ‘Can we make any changes to this?’ We like to get crafty.”
Customer input matters, too. The shop’s lemonade menu takes inspiration from guest requests. When the freshly squeezed sip made its first appearance, spicy lemonade was the only variation on the classic. Then, customers started asking for additions like lavender syrup or green tea. Now, Sixth Street Coffee slings everything from strawberry lemonade to a caffeinated cold brew version.
Popular demand also led Garcia to make their formerly weekend-only brunch a daily affair. In addition to toasts and salads, the shop offers a killer bagel with lox. “I was eating one of those every weekend,” Garcia admits with a laugh. “It was starting to show.”
There’s one thing they can’t keep in stock all week long: their popular vegan conchas. As part of his plan to transform Sixth Street into a destination spot, Garcia reached out to a friend to request a take on the Mexican sweet bread that would cater to plant-based visitors. If that sounds unmissable, make sure to stop by on a Saturday morning — the pastries are delivered on Friday and fly off the shelves by Sunday afternoon.
Next on the agenda for Sixth Street Coffee? Roasting their own joe. “We want to be the first coffee roaster in the city of Coachella,” Garcia notes. “So the people of Coachella can say, ‘Hey, this coffee was roasted by the guys down the street. This coffee is super delicious, and it’s in my neck of the woods.’ We want to give them that.” sixthstreetcoffee.com
Winners Voted by Our Readers
Airy and comfortable, IW Coffee is as good a spot for a laid-back date as for a morning pick-me-up. Pair your Americano, cold brew, or chai with one of the irresistible pastries, which include vegan and gluten-free options. restaurantji.com/ca/indian-wells/iw-coffee
Old Town Coffee
Sit on the bougainvillea-lined patio and enjoy organic coffee and loose-leaf tea drinks while gazing into charming Old Town La Quinta. Tasty and healthy breakfast choices include eggs and toasty bagels. oldtownlaquinta.com
Everbloom started as a hit pop-up coffee cart. Now, Coachella Valley natives Matthew Ortega and Efrain Mercado serve lattes and a custom chai blend sweetened with housemade syrups (don’t miss the honey lavender!) at a sleek new brick-and-mortar. everbloom.coffee
Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage
This beloved local chain roasts its coffee on-site using organic, single-origin beans. Ask your barista about the different varieties — like a fine wine, each roast shines with its own flavor notes. kofficoffee.com
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF KOFFI
Koffi Central, Palm Springs.