Pasadena has seen its fair share of coffee shops over the years, but Copa Vida in Old Pasadena stands out for its multi-faceted approach to cafe culture. The shop puts an emphasis on West Coast roasters, so single-origin coffee from industry leaders like Ritual, Verve, and 49th Parallel are usually on tap, and there's an extensive selection of steeped-leaf tea. Copa Vida bakes pastries in-house, and it has a full breakfast and lunch menu featuring breakfast burritos, three-cheese sandwiches, and eggs-any-way.
This multifaceted café has managed to stand out in Old Pasadena, a neighborhood that has seen a glut of coffee concepts in recent years. Steve Chang and wife Elaina started in 2013 by featuring superlative West Coast roasters before expanding to San Diego and switching to self-roasting. The menu is mostly classic, though they do shake double shots with brown sugar simple syrup and ice to make Iced Freddos and serve seasonal creations like the iced strawberry dipped mocha with espresso, house-made dark chocolate ganache, and strawberry milk. Their sandwich and toast-centric food program capitalizes on house-baked bread. To satisfy basic coffee (or tea) cravings for 10-12 people, Copa Vida also offers 96-ounce “Travelers.”
How to order: Schedule pickup online.