Succulent plants placed atop minimalist bookshelves and white tile accent walls characterize Palo Alto’s newest cafe, Baron Barista.

Located in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto, Baron Barista opened in late January of this year. The owner, June Kwon, who also runs a spa next door, says she noticed a gap in Palo Alto’s coffee shop industry compared to where she lives, San Francisco. She claims this was her motivation to open the new cafe.

“On University Avenue there are a few nice coffee shops where you can go and enjoy some coffee or tea in a nice environment, but other than that, there’s nothing. Starbucks, Peet’s, that’s it,” Kwon says, sipping her large cup of crystal clear tea.

Photo by Emma Donelly-Higgins

While the cafe’s pastries are delivered daily from Mayfield Bakery, what sets Baron Barista apart from other coffee shops are the intriguing drinks they serve, the most popular of which being a lavender latte.

“Some of the coffee is from San Francisco. The tea’s from Los Angeles, Art of Tea. These are all small batch, independent shops,” Kwon says.

We  tried a few of the barista’s popular menu items to get a taste of this new business.   v

Art by Britney Fan

White Coconut Iced Tea $4

Even to a non-tea drinker, Baron Barista’s White Coconut Iced Tea is surprisingly flavorful. With a distinct natural coconut flavor, ice cubes turn this drink into a refreshing spring/summer beverage option.

Chai Latte $5

Bursting with fall spices like cinnamon and cloves, the chai latte served here contains strong flavors that prove to be the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Made reasonably quickly, the drink can be served iced or hot, suited to all seasons.

Avocado Toast with Egg $9.25

Avocado toast being a new addition to many cafe menus due to its recent hype, Baron Barista’s take on this simple recipe exceeds expectations. Served on a slice of whole wheat bread, a flavored mixture of avocado rests, garnished with 2 boiled eggs,  radish, salt and pepper. A take on a recipe familiar to the taste buds, this cafe’s avocado toast is both fresh and exciting.

Photo by Abby Cummings