Happy New Year and welcome to 52 Coffee Brews! In 2020, I’m going to be visiting 52 coffee shops and/or coffee roasters in Southern California. I will be sharing each location here on the blog, and hope to receive feedback and recommendations from fellow SoCal residents on places to visit. I ended 2019 with a two week trip to Thailand, and got warmed up for 2020 with some amazing Thai coffee. I visited a cafe at the Golden Triangle, sipped Mae Klang Luang Coffee in a Karen Village, and enjoyed old style Thai coffee at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
To kick off my year of 52 coffee brews in 2020, I thought it was appropriate to visit the town I grew up in, Upland, CA.
Upland is a small city at the base of the San Gabriel mountains that was originally an irrigation colony with a citrus and grape agriculture base. Before that, the area that is now Upland was located along the east to west Old Spanish Trail that was used by Native Americans and Spanish missionaries. In 1912, the National Old Trails Road was built as the first coast to coast highway, and passed through Upland. In 1926, the western part of the National Old Trails Road became Route 66.
Upland has a historic downtown area with shops, restaurants, and monthly activities that was originally built up around the Southern Pacific railway tracks. Much has changed in Upland since those early days, but the charm of the downtown area still remains.
For the first of my 52 coffee brews in 2020, I picked Lucky’s Coffee Roasters in downtown Upland. Lucky’s is located at 387 N 2nd Ave, Upland, CA 91786.
Lucky’s Coffee Roasters is a specialty roaster with coffee from all over the world. Lucky’s purchases beans internationally and at times whole crops of harvests they really like. Lucky’s is easy to spot in downtown Upland with its red brick exterior and bright green rabbit logo. There is plenty of street side parking in downtown upland next to Lucky’s as well as a few small lots nearby.
Lucky’s Coffee Roasters has a well designed interior layout with a large dining table in the middle of the room, smaller bar tables along the wall, and a five person bar towards the back of the room. The interior is well lit with natural light from three large windows, making it a great space for those looking to do some writing, photo editing, or email catch up.
Lucky’s Coffee Roasters has a simple and standard coffee shop menu with coffees, teas, bottled drinks, and a few baked goods. There are also a few shelves on the wall selling shirts/merch, and coffee beans. If you don’t live near Upland, you can purchase some of their beans online via the Lucky’s Coffee website.
Joining me for the maiden coffee brew of this 52 coffee brew adventure, was my wife and son. We were all still a little jet lagged from our trip to Thailand when we visited Lucky’s, so the caffeine was a well timed and much needed late morning pick-me-up.
I enjoyed a Sumatran drip coffee from a mug to kick off my year of coffee brews, Julia had a latte, and Owen picked up a nice hot chocolate. Sumatran coffee is unique in that Indonesia was one of the first places coffee was grown on a large scale. I used to avoid Sumatran due to it’s fruity and somewhat tart taste, but have lately come to enjoy it for what it is. For Typica Arabica beans, I prefer the cinnamon, caramel, and chocolate notes found in other roasts, but on certain days, the refreshing taste of Sumatran coffee is quite nice.
We sat and enjoyed our coffee as our bodies began to wake up and adjust to the 15 hour time difference. We then used that energy to explore some of downtown Upland’s shops, restaurants, and historic charm. It was a great way to kick off 52 Coffee Brews and has me exited to enjoy many more cups of coffee in 2020.
The Verdict: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Lucky’s Coffee Roasters is a 5/5 star coffee shop in my book. The cafe has top notch service, quality coffee, and a beautiful seating area. Combine that with ample parking and its location in downtown Upland, and Lucky’s doesn’t leave much to complain about.