‘Top Chef’ stars are designing coffee drinks at this Oakland cafe

The Caffè by Mr. Espresso is featuring the caffeinated creations of local “Top Chef” alums this year.

Want to try a coffee creation described as a “true masterpiece that’s the result of my passion for flavors” by a “Top Chef” star? Then visit Oakland’s The Caffè by Mr. Espresso, which is currently featuring not one, but two specialty drinks designed by “Top Chef” alums.

Chef Tu David Phu created the Cà Phê Sa Matcha. (mrespressooak and cheftudavidphu on Instagram)Mr. Espresso is a coffee shop founded by Italian immigrants that has been in the East Bay since the 1970s and is known for roasting beans with oak wood. In the spirit of local collaboration, the company opened its first coffee shop downtown this spring at 1120 Broadway, featuring Oakland chefs with reality-TV cred.

The first chef collaboration is with Tu David Phu, who was a contestant on season 15 of “Top Chef.” He’s created a Cà Phê Sa Matcha, which will be available at The Caffè until October 7. According to the chef, the drink is a “enchanting fusion of bold Vietnamese coffee and the soothing touch of matcha foam,” with the green tea lending an earthy note and mellowing out the caffeine kick of the coffee. According to an Instagram video, it appears in the glass to be a nice bed of healthy mud covered with grass.

Tu David Phu will be at The Caffè on October 6 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to hand out signed merchandise to fans who want to stop by and talk about Kristen Kish’s well-deserved ascension to show-host duty.

From October 9 to 21, the coffee shop will serve a drink designed by chef Nelson German, who appeared on season 18 of “Top Chef” and owns Oakland’s alaMar Dominican Kitchen and the Sobre Mesa cocktail bar.

Nelson will order “The Big Apple,” a Latin-fusion spiced-apple iced coffee with coconut espuma named after his childhood haunt of Washington Heights in Manhattan.

10% of the proceeds from these limited-edition coffees will be donated to Community Kitchens, which is attempting to build an electric kitchen in order to expand its community-meal program in 2024. Expect more collaborations in the future, as the cafe intends to feature one local chef designing a new coffee each month.

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