Berkeley’s Best Latte

I am a bonafede espresso junkie. I like strong, well roasted, sweet beans. I don’t like a lot of milk, and a warm 6 or 8 oz. size cappuccino or latte is usually my choice.

Rasa Caffe, Berkeley, CA

I vividly remember the first time I had a latte. It was late 2000. I was in Manhattan for New York Fashion Week buying for the soon-to-be opened Shikiri during the VERY beginning stages of this site.

For the boutique opening, thanks to my then NFL-salaried husband, I had a major budget and a four-woman buying team consisting of me, a Nordstrom’s Women’s buyer, a top LA stylist, and a good friend of mine.

After a night of table dancing, bottle poppin’, and clubbing, I was scheduled to begin buying bright and early the next morning. Our first appointment was for 8 a.m. “Who made that?!” I thought as I went to bed as the sun was rising outside my mid-town luxury W hotel suite. I was completely knocked out by the time the 7 a.m. wake up call rang only three hours after I made it back to the room.

I immediately hung it up and went back to sleep. About an hour later, the buyer I had paid to be there was knocking at my door. I still could not wake up.

In undergrad, I never drank coffee. I think it’s because I was pregnant twice with Maia in my freshman year, and Keyshawn Jr. senior year. The logic that the Cokes I devoured during finals was healthier now doesn’t sound right either.

I finally opened the door, slowly began to get dressed, and then the buyer handed me my very first latte at the age of 24. It was from Starbucks. That was all I needed . . . I was up, somewhat focused, happy, and ready to go.


Soon enough, buying for Shikiri took me to fashion weeks in Paris, London, and Milan! And honey . . . the espresso got better too! Now, 21 years later, I make it my business to research and experience the best espresso around the world.

As I focus on individuating, this month is centered on stories based on the city I grew up in, Berkeley, California.

Each café has a special story and place in my heart. Let me tell you why I love these places and where you can find them.

As an experienced espresso fan, these are my favorite spots to get my latte:

Rasa Caffe 140 Martin Luther King Way, (South Berkeley)
Highwire Coffee Roasters 2049 San Pablo Avenue, (West Berkeley)
Blue Bottle Coffee 2118 University Avenue, (Downtown Berkeley)