Get ready, Bay Area: New vegan kid on the block Timeless Coffee is celebrating its grand opening on Saturday, Jan. 19! The festivities include a build-your-own-dessert extravaganza, with a free drip coffee included with every creation. Look at this menu:
Chick-O-Sticks, you guys. Chick-O-Stick and peanut butter frosting. TWINKIE CAKE.
Get your butts to 4252 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday to party down with Timeless! Welcome them to the neighborhood, your hearts, and most importantly your beautiful stomachs.
[Photos from the Timeless Coffee’s Instagram, which you really should follow]
Guest Post: Timeless Coffee is Oakland’s newest, all-vegan coffee shop! »
Carrot cake and cappuccino, so effing delicious
Timeless Coffee, the brand-spankin’-new coffee shop on Piedmont Avenue, is a perfect blend of quality coffee, delicious food and excellent service. It’s hard to expand past a general review of “Yaaaaaaay!” but I’ll do my best. The airy coffee shop has counters full of house-baked pastries and candies and boasts a delightful variety of different coffee roasts, available as a pour-over or quick Fetco-brewed option. My first sip of the Sightglass pour-over called to mind every Dale Cooper quote on the “damn fine” quality of a superb cup of coffee. I drank it black as midnight, and boy was I happy.
As a coffee-loving, Oakland-based vegan, I hadn’t realized what I was missing until I walked into Timeless. Up until this point in my veganism I’d accepted that if I wanted good coffee, the only accompaniments available to me were bagels, Pepple’s donuts, or an elusive Fat Bottom Bakery cookie or scone. No longer. There is something so wonderful about a wide variety of delicious vegan treats right alongside your cup of joe. Violett at Timeless makes a killer selection of biscotti, Hostess-inspired baked goods, cookies, muffins, chocolates, and weekend cinnamon rolls. Having tried the house-made “Twinkie”, the Chocodile, and the carrot cake, I can guarantee that even the mightiest sweet tooth will be satiated. Pre-wrapped to-go items are also available. It took every bit of self-restraint to not stock up my cupboards with peanut butter cups and almond biscotti.
The “Chocodile.” Holy diabetes, this thing was good
Timeless is 100 percent vegan, right down to the barista-quality almond and soy milk used for espresso drinks. But if you show up and don’t see anything listed as “vegan,” don’t fret, it was a purposeful decision to keep the v-word off of the menu. By not branding themselves as a vegan café, Timeless is able to appeal to all walks of life. In regards to opening up the shop in his own neighborhood, RJ said, “I’ve always thought that Piedmont Avenue lacked in the vegan department. … Living here for eight years, it’s very limited, but I love this neighborhood so much. I knew the neighborhood would be open to it.”
His assessment seems to be correct, as he says the vast majority of patrons have been delighted about the vegan menu, even if they didn’t realize their peppermint fudge brownie and espresso combo was cruelty-free until after the fact. “People have been really excited that they’ve had it, and found out later. Their minds kinda changed. That was Violett’s and my approach to it, that it’d be a positive thing.”
A little on the pricier side, but you definitely get what you pay for
Despite only having opened on Dec. 10, Timeless was bustling with patrons when I went this week. Several people already knew RJ by name and seemed to have established Timeless as their regular spot. RJ, along with part-owners Violett and Sam, hopes to expand the menu soon, offering savory accompaniments like bacon-cheddar scones. Ultimately, they’d like to offer a weekend brunch and bi-weekly late dinner service with a fixed menu. RJ, a veteran roaster who helped establish Sightglass, even wants to start roasting beans in-house. This unobtrusive and beautiful coffee shop has already hit all the right notes with me and I’m excited to see what new creations they unveil in the coming months.
Timeless Coffee is located at 4252 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland.
Courtney Flynn lives in Oakland and spends way too much time inventing vegan recipes, reading science fiction, and crocheting hats for her dog, Blender. She sometimes remembers to update her blog, where she likes to write about food, restaurants and products that don’t suck.
Which coffee shops don’t charge extra for soy milk? Let’s make a list! »
Beautiful coconut milk latte made for me by my dear brother. He’s fancy, right? It’s beautiful.
Reader Toshio emailed me the other day:
I was wondering if you’d consider posting a list of the cafes in SF that don’t charge extra for soymilk. The only one I know of is Peace Cafe on Haight Street, but there must be more. I would walk extra blocks just to avoid the charge. Much appreciated!
Let’s ask the readers! Who knows of a coffee shop in S.F. (or beyond) that doesn’t charge extra for soy milk?
Is there a legitimate reason for charging more for soy milk? It’s generally $.50 extra to get soy milk at a coffee shop. I’ve looked at dairy milk and soy milk prices online and it does seem soy milk is a bit more expensive—not more expensive than organic dairy milk, but maybe they are all only getting non-organic. But even non-organic is only like $.40 per gallon more expensive. That’s not nothing, but the cafe isn’t using more than a gallon of soy milk in your latte. If they really want to charge more because the soy milk they buy is more expensive, then it shouldn’t be more than a few cents per coffee, if we’re actually trying to make up the price difference.
Moreover, dairy milk prices seem to fluctuate quite often and kind of drastically. If we are going by this system of milk that costs more for the cafe costs more for you, when dairy milk prices go up, there should be an extra charge, no? But they don’t do that—people wouldn’t put up with it. But we soy milk drinkers don’t have the same kind of options as dairy-drinkers so we’re pretty much stuck with whatever they want to charge us. Bastards! They are exploiting our dietary needs!
I say to you, no more! Screw these extra charges! Next time they charge you $.50, you give them two pennies and say that is all they’re getting! Better yet, we should all walk out of our way to support the non-exploitative establishments! It’s time to RISE UP! Rage against the soy milk surcharges!
Okay, don’t click through because it’s not a recipe and I’m not even sure if the photo is vegan but it gave me (and a million other on Pinterest) the idea to serve up a giant glass of almond milk with COFFEE ICE CUBES WHAT?! It’s the best idea there is outside of mixing Kahlua with the coffee before you freeze it WHAT?! Or what about, okay, a little coffee, a little hazelnut syrup and a little Kahlua and then you freeze it and then you serve it in coconut creamer!? The possibilities are endless and if we can be fat enough and alcoholic enough, we can try them all! It’s the American way!
Product Review: Steve’s Cinnamon Coffee Coconut Creme! »
Guys, I’m in love! I don’t do a lot of vegan ice cream reviews because I don’t actually like ice cream that much—except, I LOVE coffee ice cream! I don’t know, I’m a particular person. It’s part of my immense charm. But I had read about Steve’s Ice Cream and their vegan flavors so when I saw some buckets of Steve’s at Union Market, I took a look. WHAM BAM! They had a cinnamon coffee flavor! Cinnamon? I wasn’t sure. But I love coffee ice cream so much that I thought I’d take a chance.
Holy cannoli! Gamble well spent! This stuff is incredible! Like, super-amazing-fantastic. And cinnamon with coffee is pure genius. I had no idea. Seriously, I can’t say enough amazing things about this ice cream! It’s like rainbows and kittens and vacations and moon bounces and recess and waterslides all in one tub!
Looks like you can only get this stuff in New York. But hey, New York isn’t so bad! You should come visit! You never visit me anymore.
Have you been to Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden in Alameda? Because they’ve got vegan pastries, tea-soaked quinoa, and THE BEST G-D VEGAN PÂTÉ ON EARTH. I wrote it up completely for SF Weekly but I just want to encourage you all to head to the isla bonita for some tasty treats. Plus, heated patio and also, VEGAN PÂTÉ. Get fucked, foie gras, this is where it’s at.
Vegan Gift Guide: Great vegan gifts for omnis! »
I am a world class gift-giver. Everybody says so. Like, even Jesus. And for my gift to you, I’m going to share some of my present ideas for this holiday season! Now, I think gifts should be all about who you’re giving them to, not about who you are. A lot of people buy gifts they themselves would like without thinking of what the recipient likes. You like books, your friend likes music—you buy them music, not a book! Simple enough, but it seems to allude many people.
What I’m getting at is your gifts for the omnis in your life shouldn’t be all about your veganism. Trust me, your fam knows you’re vegan (and if they don’t, they’ll get a clue when you bust out the soy nog), you don’t have to remind them again when it’s present time. But at the same time, you can’t be buying them leather jackets! So what to do? Buy secretly vegan gifts! You forgo the "Bacon had a Mom" shirt and get them gifts they will like that happen to be vegan—and maybe do a little good on the sly. Like something that benefits the environment; no one will suspect that it is secretly helping vegans! But it’s like I always say, we vegans have to protect the environment because that’s where all the animals live! And hey, if it’s trendy waxed canvas instead of leather, no one will think twice. But you’ll know it’s vegan! Oh, you’ll know.
Without further ado, great gifts vegans can buy omnis!:
If you didn’t know, people love coffee. I swear! It’s true! And in New York and Philly, the biggest thing in coffee is La Colombe. People are crazy for it. It’s at all the posh places. It’s really good! But what’s better, their ethics are out of control. They do direct trade, invest in the community, worry about the rainforest and all that good stuff. And it’s shade-grown so the birds are OK! Laura told me about that, I didn’t even know. But yeah, some coffee is bad for birds!
So you can impress the hipster, urbanite, or coffee-lover in your life by getting them the coolest thing in coffee while secretly knowing the birds and rainforest are OK and your ethics are intact!
You know what moms are? Cold. Like, all the time. OK, sometimes they are annoyingly hot, but they spend much of their time being cold. So what better gift than a scarf?! Not a bulky, winter-wear scarf; a pretty, indoor scarf to keep them warm in rooms that are actually a perfectly reasonable temperature. And they can take them off if they get hot! Perf.
And if your mom is like mine, she has entered what I once read described as, “the Goddess Phase.” My mom and all her friends are in the Goddess Phase—You’d know it if you saw it! It’s all about loose linen clothes, beaded necklaces, herbal tea, etc. A scarf is so goddess. Plus, these scarfs are all cotton, vegetable-dyed and super organic. Up with cotton, down with wool!
You know what dads need? Classy, relaxed clothing. Things that make them look like the distinguished old gentlemen that they are while also keeping their old gentlemen bodies comfortable. So something like this cotton half sweatshirt/half sweater is just the thing! While everyone else is giving him stuffy silk ties and itchy wool sweaters, you’ll be like, “Blammo!” Organic cotton! And it doesn’t hurt that Threads 4 Thought is a sustainable brand that supports great organizations like Natural Resource Defense Council. They even have their own world-saving effort, Girl 2 Girl, that seeks to empower girls throughout the world. Can I get a huzzah?!
Need a cheeky yet utilitarian gift for your sweetie? How about cruelty-free underoos from vegan-owned Purrfect Pineapples! All their products are sweatshop and animal-free. They are also handmade and they do custom orders! So if they don’t have your size or you have some wacky design, they can make it happen.
When your main squeeze opens this present, no way will they be like, “OMG stop pushing your beliefs on me!” They will be like, “OMG let’s do it!” And your love-making will be that much more satisfying knowing you supported a vegan biz. Also, sorry I said love-making. Bleh, love. And making. Bleh.
Know a wine lover, a sustainable design enthusiast and/or someone with a new place? These wine tumblers would make a great present. Not only are they recycled, but they’re totally meta! Kind of? You’d be drinking wine from tumblers made of wine bottles! Whatever, it’s cool and they are pretty. And environmentally friendly!
This eco-friendly, fair trade necklace also happens to be approved by my sister so YOU KNOW it’s cute. She suggests pairing it with some gold for a real WHAM BAM effect. World of Good, where you can purchase this hotness, also points out: "The beautiful jewelry of the collection is made by Ecuadorian artisans from natural, local rain forest materials. This not only helps the artisans earn a living wage, but it also helps to protect the rain forest by creating a profitable and low impact use of its materials." I love stuff like that! Where you make keeping environmental and animal stuff more valuable than killing it all. That rules.
You may say to yourself, “What about the kids?!” Well, I’ve got a little something for them too! This cute book comes with a plush dog AND has tactile stuff on the pages for kiddies to mess with. And the best part? It benefits the Humane Society! Or maybe the tactile stuff is the best part, I used to love that fuzzy bunny book. Sigh. That was awesome.
Wait, wait, wait, the best part is that kids love books (for some wacky reason) and kids love animals, so no one will suspect that you are secretly indoctrinating them into the vegan lifestyle! Haaaa, that is the best.
OK, here’s my bid for the cheap secret santa gift. At $6.50, this cookie mix (which contains no animal ingredients on its own) is fair-trade, eco-friendly and supports the Women’s Bean Project, “an innovative social enterprise in Denver, Colorado which benefits women with a history of poverty and chronic unemployment.” If that is not enough for you, it funds 14 bowls of food for shelter animals!
And this is a good generic present because it’s not some dumb, cheapo thing the recipient is going to be stuck with; they can actually use it and it goes away. And cookies are yummy!
I know many book collectors and they are a nutty lot. They are obsessed! And one thing I have learned is, unless you are getting them some rare first edition, never try to buy them an actual book as a gift; If it’s a book they wanted, they will have already gotten it by the time you’re trading presents. If they don’t have it, it’s because they don’t want it. Another thing I have learned is the bane of the book collector’s existence is when they loan a book to someone and never get it back. It haunts them in the wee hours. The solution? Book labels! And if you recall, not only are these labels eco-friendly, but use our “VEGANSAURUS” coupon code at Boygirlparty’s etsy store and you will get 10 percent off your order and 10 percent of the sale will be donated to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. You’ll help animals AND your book-enthusiast will feel like someone finally understands their deep-seated collector’s anxiety.
Another thing: these book labels would make a good gift for kids too. Like I said, kids love books; Another thing kids love is laying claim to things. With these labels, they can tell the whole world this is their book. Plus, look at that cute elephant!
This is perfect for the gentleman or aspiring gentleman. Or just anyone who likes to stay groomed. Or really, anyone who’s gone through puberty. If they don’t know already, they will find out: shaving brushes rule! They work as a gentle exfoliant so you can get a nice smooth shave with less irritation. That’s what makes this a great present: it’s classy, utilitarian, and works better. And with this kit, you get all-natural, environmentally friendly, vegan soap and a brush free of badger hair. Yay! Bleh, badger hair. Leave it for the badgers.
So those are my recommendations! I spent a lot of time on them! Because I love you. And because gift-giving should be a pleasure, not a chore! I hope these help with that. Have fun and be merry!
Vegan chocolate espresso cakes from Alexis J! The chocolate and coffee combo is my absolute favorite. Especially when it’s gooey! And these look gooey. So basically, I’d probably kill you for a bite of one. That tells you a lot about those cupcakes and about me. Probably more about me.
Little Bird Coffeehouse in the Tenderloin! »
VEGAN BREAKFAST ALERT! One of the hardest things for vegans in this city to find is a suitable breakfast or brunch option. Well, there’s a new sheriff in town and they put a motherfucking bird on it! Little Bird Coffeehouse is a fairly new place in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood that serves up all kinds of vegan breakfast and brunch options, including damn good gluten-free blue corn waffles (covered in fresh fruit, maple syrup, and Earth Balance!), damn good vegan breakfast sandwiches (made with Soyrizo, tofu scramble, vegan cheese and magic), and lots of other damn good vegan stuff like donuts and muffins and other fantastic shiz. Also, various types of non-dairy milk for your coffee and tea beverages! It’s no-frills, with a counter for ordering and some rickety tables and chairs to enjoy your goodies. This place is a little interesting because it’s like stepping through a tear in the fabric of the universe and ending up in the Mission. When I’ve eaten there, its been infested with miner bros* ordering espresso and reading David Foster Wallace. Not a bad scene, just FYI.
I’d bring your friends, wife, LOVAS, kids. And I’d hide your parents unless they’re OK with no table service and enjoy listening to Ani Difranco whine about the 1990s. It’s really nice to have some more options in this area of town and I’d like to see them be the little bird that could so get on down there and eat some some breakfast panini.
Soyrizo breakfast sandwich
Little Bird Coffeehouse is at 835 Geary St. (at Larkin), (415) 440-2165, open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CASH-ONLY, Y’ALL.
*TM Kate Losse. It refers to a specific type of dude who wears plaid shirts and scruffy beards, à la gold miners. I will demonstrate:
Real gold miner
Vegansaurus roadtrip: Grindcore in Philly! »
Yo, cuz! I been chilling in Philly again and I finally got to check out vegan coffee house Grindcore. LOVE IT. It’s hella crazy! What you see above in the coffee cup is an ALMOND MILK latte! Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t! You can also get a rice milk latte and every other kind of non-dairy milk latte! So cool. Plus, they have pastries from like four different bakeries! Above is a chocolate chip scone (the food of my people) and a sweet potato chocolate chip blondie! The scone was off the hook and the blondie tasted like pumpkin pie with chocolate chips—holler! Behind my treats is my sister’s PB&J. She said it was like the best PB&J ever. Behind THAT is my sister’s fake fur coat—she was worried everyone would think it was real! So cute, right? So cute.
Now the other great thing about Grindcore is that the customers are like straight-out-of-Portland crazy! There was a couple sitting next to us discussing the guidelines for their group house. The boy was wearing a cat collar! Like, one a cat would wear. Hot pink with a bell—and hopefully it was a breakaway collar, safety first! Then the couple started “hand dancing.” They were moving their hands around together and were like, “hey, we’re hand dancing.” And I was like VOM. Then they got up and started noodle dancing. And I was like VOM. But I looked around and it seemed like everyone else was like WTF as well so there’s still hope for the world.
The women working there were so nice! They even toasted my sister’s bread for her PB&J. It’s all about toasting the bread. OH AND a girl got a call-back from America’s Next Top Model while we were there! It’s basically coffeehouse to the stars. Next time you’re in Philly, you have to stop by Grindcore. Especially you Portlanders, if you miss home.