Coast To Coast Cafe is now open on the Tamiami Trail in Sarasota


What makes a New Orleans-style coffee mug unique? It’s chicory root.

A strong, bold flavor derived from the root of a blue-flowering perennial, chicory is commonly ground into herbal tea blends. In New Orleans, however, baristas have been mixing it into coffee since the days of the Civil War, when coffee supplies from France and England were limited.

Chicory coffee has become a tradition, and now iconic cafes like Café du Monde include the root in their specialty drinks. You can also find chicory coffee in sachets at grocery stores.

Chicory has a bold, strong flavor, much like dark roast coffee, with chocolate and warm spice tones. For new Sarasotans Patrick Robinson and Gabrielle Banik, it’s the perfect cup, which is why they’re selling it at their new cafe called Coast to Coast.

The owners of Coast To Coast Coffee, Patrick Robinson and Gabrielle Banik.

Robinson and Banik grew up in New Jersey, where they encountered skateboarding (hence the store’s logo) and drinking New Orleans cold brew at their favorite store. After a stint in California, they decided to try the Gulf Coast since Banik’s family had moved to Sarasota a few years ago.

Coast To Coast, located on S. Tamiami Trail, opened on March 25 after a few months of renovations.

“We renovated it ourselves,” says Robinson. “It wasn’t easy, but luckily I know plumbing, electrical and HV/AC paints and Gabrielle and planned the interior design.” Banik’s father installed the counters and after a few months Coast To Coast was ready to go.

The menu is straightforward. There are few light, medium and dark roasts named after the country where the beans originated. Coast To Coast sources the single-origin beans from farms and roasts them at its satellite roastery in Jersey.

What you should really stop for, though, is cold brew.

“We start by grinding the chicory root and mixing it into our Sumatra coffee grounds blend,” says Robinson. “Then we let the mixture steep in water for 19 hours. It gives a bold, smooth flavor with those slightly chocolatey and spicy notes. It tastes different from the typical cold brew, but it’s a tradition that we like.”

You can also get the hot version of the New Orleans style coffee or a latte version of the cold brew with your choice of milk. The shop also offers delicious Stroopwafels — thin, round cookies with caramel centers — shipped fresh from a small New Jersey bakery. Pouring it over coffee is also worth mentioning.

Stroopwafels from coast to coast.

“Most places in Florida focus on espresso, but where we’re from, coffee is everywhere,” says Robinson. “The process involves getting the right amount and temperature of water and using the right pool and equipment.”

If you want to try Coast To Coast’s blends at home, you can buy their ground or whole grains by the bag. Robinson said they are also working on bottling their cold brew.

Coast To Coast strives to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Robinson and Banik are both in the form of virtual currency which has gained popularity around the world and even plan to run their own coffee booth at an upcoming Bitcoin convention in Miami.

“We want it to be a place known for its homemade cold beer; a place where you can stop for a cool, refreshing drink before heading to the beach,” says Robinson. “We also hope to have events like live music, but sticking to coffee is key.”

“We think once you’ve had a taste of this cold brew, you never go back to the regular stuff,” he adds with a laugh.

Follow @c2ccoffee on Instagram for updates on menu items and special discounts.

Coast To Coast Cafe is located at 7650 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 3, Sarasota. Hours are Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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