Biodynamic beans and sustainable farming bring a new meaning to drinking responsibly

Confidential first met Diana Orozco during a review of The Grill at 20 Stories back in March 2018. The wing rib was excellent, but it wasn’t what stayed in our minds weeks afterwards. That honour went to our server Diana; a wonderful, kind Californian whose gentle patience and sparky sense of humour had Gordo eating out of her hands immediately (apologies for that Diana.)

We kept in touch and were overjoyed to find out that, after working hard and saving up for a long time, she and husband Justin were finally ready to open their own place: California Coffee and Wine. The strapline for their new all-day enterprise, which opened in Altrincham this week, sums it up: ‘come for coffee and stay for wine’. And it would be wise to do so.

2018 12 07 California Wine

Their ‘beyond fairtrade’ organic coffee beans come in ‘green’ and Justin arrives at 4am every morning to roast them in the basement – anyone walking past at that time of day is in for an olfactory treat. The in–house artisan 3e energy efficient, fluid bed coffee roaster allows Justin to roast the beans in small batches. 

"Our beans are super organic and are sourced from a collective that make sure the growers in India are well looked after," Diana tells us. "Justin bought this roaster from a place in Oregon and roasting the beans onsite makes sure our coffee is super fresh" (Diana says ‘super’ a lot.)

They also make the point of using alkaline ‘restored’ water – because there’s little point in going to the trouble of eliminating pesticides and unnecessary chemicals from the beans if you’re simply going to pump any old water through them to make coffee. It’s a similar story with their other drinks selections; including Hampstead tea, a selection of organic dairy-free alternatives and, of course, Californian wine. 

2018 12 07 California Coffee
Beans are roasted fresh every morning

Many of the wines on offer are organic, natural, biodynamic and low in sulphates – it’s thought that the common additives and impurities found in many wines are more responsible for hangovers that the actual alcohol. ‘You might say Californians are serious about wine and relaxed about everything else’, they point out on the California Coffee website and Diana has scrupulously sourced some of the best ecologically sound varieties around – proving that there’s more to drinking responsibly than not overdoing it on the booze.

Kitchen space is limited and everything will be made to order in front of the customers. Breakfast will range from California hot cakes and croissants; lunch will be a range of freshly made paninis, salads, soup and sandwiches; while evening customers can graze on various sharing boards of wine-friendly charcuterie, dips, cheeses and breads. Diana also mentioned something about a baked Camembert drizzled with maple syrup, pecans and berries, which sounds like it’s worth uncorking a good bottle of red for.

The new three-floor venue also spills out onto an all-weather terrace, so wine and coffee can be enjoyed al fresco on the three sunny days we have a year in this country. The first floor can be turned into a private area with a bar for tastings, suppers and events throughout the year.

The all day venue will be open seven days a week:

Monday-Tuesday 8.30am-6pm

Wednesday-Thursday 8.30am-8pm

Friday – 8.30am-11pm

Saturday – 9am-11pm

Sunday 9am-5pm

California Coffee and Wine, 3 Oxford Road, Altrincham, WA14 2DY