Sitting on a sleek wood finish, a specialty coffee in hand, I perused the nature-inspired artwork on the wall and remembered what it’s like to truly appreciate a morning cup of joe, when taste is king to our neurotic consumption to satisfy a caffeine fix.

Chromatic Coffee, located downtown San Jose on Second Street near Santa Clara Street, creates a tranquil ambiance that reinforces the company’s philosophy: “Craftsmanship over ease and quality over convenience.”

The team of baristas and coffee entrepreneurs utilized their years of experience in cafes, roasteries and international trade to create their brand in 2012. Two months ago, they opened their second location in downtown.

While aiming to stay true to Silicon Valley’s agricultural roots as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” Chromatic offers an innovative twist of chemistry and water science. Chromatic makes sure to hit each of the four keys to great coffee: acidity, aroma, body and flavor.

I opted for a cup of The Holy Mountain ($2.99) seasonal blend, which features beans from Ethiopia, Colombia and El Salvador. The drink was tangy, with a clean aroma, and it left a crisp aftertaste. Chromatic partners maintain a direct relationship with their coffee farmers, in addition to partnering with fair-trade organizations.

“Our main demographic is all those that appreciate craft and specialty coffee, and that can be anyone,” says Aaron Coleman, Chromatic barista and art curator. Chromatic’s coffee requires an investment of love and care, she adds.

The pastries receive the same care and attention as the coffee. The gluten-free polenta cake ($4.99) offered a cross between cornbread and lemon cake filled with blackberry-lavender jam and topped with roasted almonds. The breaded treat was sweet and fruity. I also grabbed a health-conscious option, the vegan coconut almond chia pudding ($5.99). The taste, texture and aroma live up to the enticing name.

For coffee enthusiasts, prices will vary depending on the delivery system, such as devices like the Chemex and Immersion Drippers. Chromatic has clearly developed a fanbase—their multiple social media channels boast strong followings despite operating only in Santa Clara up until May—which would explain why the shop’s walls are also lined with wooden shelves offering a suite of Chromatic swag and gear needed to brew at home. Whether one seeks a quiet cup or a discussion on the science of coffee, Chromatic has created a welcome new space 7am-2pm on weekdays.

Chromatic Coffee Co. 
17 N Second St, San Jose.