Downtown coffee shop mixes heritage, art


Unlike most urban coffee shops, Terra Coffee Roasters in downtown Stockton, has a classical Mexican Day of the Dead setting, with an array of trendy playlists to keep the relaxed mood. Terra seconds as the Mexican Heritage Center displaying statues imported from Mexico and art in the back to liven up the atmosphere.

“We feature local artists, sell some pieces, and switch out other art weekly,” said Laura Michelle Gomez, shop owner.

Small Mexican trinkets for sale are displayed in a glass case on the furthest back wall. This is a great way to support aspiring artists. Some featured artists include: Allison Atas Savage, Susan Bod, Bird Gallagher, Tiana “Cherry” and several others. There are miniature canvases that adorn the counters each for sale for $20, painted by one of Terra’s employees — Danny Marr.

Terra Coffee opened in 2017, although it is no longer a “new” spot it is a popular attraction for local coffee connoisseurs.

“What makes us unique is that we brew and roast our coffee in small batches. The flavor is different. We get to control how intense each batch will be,” said Gomez.

Most coffee shops have coffee imported and pre-roasted with a dark, blonde, or medium roast, however, Terra Coffee baristas do this themselves with a coffee roaster.

Each cup of coffee is served in an eclectically colored mug with delicate latte art to adorn the surface of any espresso drink a customer gets.

“I used to go to Starbucks until I found this place. My girlfriend still goes [to Starbucks], but I hate the stressful and chaotic energy I get from there. You can see it in the employees. I love the vibes from Terra though, I come in here and bug all my favorite baristas daily,” said Gina Hughes, a regular customer.

Terra serves handcrafted coffee beverages, the most popular latte is the Blank Canvas Mocha; it has white mocha powder, marshmallow syrup, vanilla syrup and is topped off with a light coating of foam. Although the Blank Canvas Mocha seems as though it would be a sweet drink, the taste is subtle and not too overbearing for those people that don’t enjoy sugar shock in a mug.

Each individual espresso drink is made with a manual press machine–it makes the process slightly longer, however, it creates a unique taste that cannot be replicated. This makes the drinks more personalized and changes the taste of the coffee — as opposed to chain coffee shops which use automatic press machines.

Offering pastries like a blueberry tart to Americanos and pour-over house coffees, Terra is a quaint little spot that will satisfy anybody’s taste buds.

“We have small events and open mic nights, just checkout the website for updates and sporadic gigs.We had an open mic night last Tuesday and had a great turn out,” said Gomez.

Terra Coffee, 111 S. Sutter Street, is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday.