Coffee here brushes a chromatic flavor on my taste buds. Chromatic was formerly known as Barefoot, but no worries if you enjoyed the flavor of Barefoot, for the friendly and eccentric staff has stayed on.
Walking into the coffee shop, I was overwhelmed by its extensive menu and unique items such as café brûlée and dark coconut mocha. Their drip coffee offering also varies depending on the day, ranging from beans from Guatemala to Ethiopia. The space is open, filled with wooden circular tables and groups of students with their laptops, readers, and notebooks sprawled across the surfaces. Colorful paintings hang like crowded stamps in a collector’s notebook, while silvery sleek coffee machines sit on top of a clean white counter.
Surprised by the cute novelty of brûlée and coffee combined and exotically sourced coffee beans, I ordered a café brûlée and a drip coffee. The staff was quick to take orders and brew the coffee. I enjoyed watching the barista make my café brûlée as he carefully designed a big latte heart, sprinkled sugar over it, and torched the top, leaving the latte art seeping through the encrusted layer of caramelized sugar—simplistic perfection.
Like Amélie Poulain, I enjoy the taste of life’s small pleasures, such as cracking the crust of the brûlée with the back of my teaspoon.
The foam from the coffee seeped through the caramel cracks of the brûlée. The coffee was strong and bitter, but to my liking. The sugar blended well with the coffee, sweetening my drink as it melted. Chipping off the sugar crystals burnt on the side of the cup while drinking my coffee was also fun.
The barista told me that he has been practicing to perfect this coffee he has tried to make the latte art seep through the caramelized sugar. Apparently, he has improved greatly, since the previous café brûlée creations did not retain the foamy art.
The drip coffee I ordered was buttery smooth, and I added sugar and cream to it to sweeten, although sometimes I think it takes away the natural flavor of straight coffee. I would have preferred my coffee to be hot and toasty but it was only warm when I received it—maybe because of the time it took for the coffee to drip and the addition of cream that lowered the temperature of the drink as it sat on the counter. Regardless it was enjoyable and I am looking to try more of their drip coffees (and also their iced coffees served in mason jars!)
Luckily being located in Santa Clara means a higher chance of warm weather compared to San Francisco. I was able to enjoy my coffee outside because all the seats were taken in the inside. (Beware! A lot of students come here to study and take up most of the indoor areas, but there is a generous amount of seating outside.) Chromatic is a good place either to catch up with a friend or to study, indoors or outdoors!
5237 Stevens Creek Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95051