Like most people I start my day with a cup of coffee, but my love affair with the coffee bean didn’t start until late in life. In 2011 I read a fascinating article in the New Yorker about a woman, Aida Batlle, that took over her family’s coffee plantation in El Salvador and became a world class producer of award winning coffee. Not only did the article detail Aida’s story but dropped all kinds of knowledge on how to brew these pricey beans at home. A 12 oz. bag goes for about $30 so you want to make sure you get the most out of them, I went out and bought a French Press and a burr grinder, later I would buy myself the whole pour over set up. Yes, I was hooked!!

In 2011 I was still working so I would only drink coffee on my days off, it gets me so amped there was no way I could safely do my job as a meatcutter, I enjoy the use of all my fingers! Now that I am retired I frequent the local coffee houses in my area, nothing against Starbucks but I like to spend my money with local owners, whether it’s coffee or food. One place where I really enjoy is Coffee Muse in Downtown Santa Ana, on Calle Cuatro, across from the Frida Cinema. Owner Ricky “Muse” Martinez opened Coffee Muse in June of 2018, everything is hand made, all coffee’s are pour overs, teas are made to order. I drink my coffee black, no sweetener or milk, I enjoy the notes that a good roaster can attain from certain beans. Ricky roasts his own beans and is very good at getting every nuance out of the fruit, he roasts frequently to keep the freshness at the optimum. I also homebrew craft beer and have used Coffee Muse’s beans in 2 of my beers. I used the Honduran beans in my KRACK Cream Ale, I was going to name the beer something different but when we first tasted it I knew it was going to be addicting! I also used the Mexican beans that are from Chiapas in my award winning Mexican Stout hecho en Aztlán. If you homebrew and are looking for a certain roast come over to Coffee Muse and talk to Ricky, he will dial it in for whatever flavor profile you are looking for.

Along with all the yummy latte’s and mocha’s are delicious pastries that Ricky hand selects from the Mill Bakery on Main Street, on the weekends you will also find vegan treats from Victoria’s Bakery located on Bristol and Civic Center. Recently Ricky has brought in freshly baked sourdough bread from local baker Aero Bakery 

The bread is Bomb Dot Com! You can get it as avocado toast, with butter and jam or recently they now do a cream cheese with fresh fruit, drizzled with honey that is next level delicious! Aero Bakery bread can also be found at Chapter One: the modern local, one of the finest restaurants in Downtown SanTana!

Coffee Muse is also about community, every first Saturday of the month is Artwalk in Downtown Santa Ana and Coffee Muse hosts an open mic night where you can enjoy music or poetry along with your Iced Mexican Mocha. Featured on the walls of Coffee Muse are works of local artists, a different artist every month. Coffee Muse opens at 7 am Monday thru Saturday and at 8 am on Sunday. Go to for more info.

“Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love” -Turkish proverb

Last modified: January 21, 2020

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