The sun shines bright, cutting through pine trees like glass, shimmering its way down to little Loch Lomond. There, at the edge of a long, grey-blue building, stands the vibrant blue door of True Grit Coffeehouse. Once inside, dark grey tiling stretches across the floor in long rectangle cuts, while to the right sit a few tables waiting for one to sit and sip Lake County’s best coffee.
Dottie Bates, the owner of True Grit Coffee House, stands behind the wooden counter, gliding around her space, making drinks for her customers. “I’ve wanted to run a coffee shop for ten years,” she says as she pulls a shot of espresso, her brown eyes focusing as she pours it into a cup. “And when I came here, I saw that Loch Lomond really needed a community gathering place.” She begins foaming the milk, creating the perfect drink.
Outside, the sun is hot, yet a chill spring breeze flows by now and then. A few minutes later, Dottie comes out and plunks down two drinks on the black table. To the left stands an iced hazelnut breve latte. “I use frozen coffee cubes with my iced drinks,” she says. “That way, the drink won’t water down when the ice melts.” Next to it is a caramel macchiato, Dottie’s husband’s favorite drink. It’s salty, sweet, and creamy—perfectly balanced.
Then Dottie sits down in a chair and crosses her legs. “I try to buy all my products locally, you know, help support local businesses.” She rests her arms on the table. “I work hard to make my coffee healthy; you don’t need to add a bunch of sugar to make it taste good. All you have to do is make it right.”
Dottie has a secret to making her coffee one of Lake County’s best. “I mean, I have people from Middletown and Clearlake come here for my coffee, and they tell me that it’s the best; that always makes me smile. I love giving something that makes someone’s day better but isn’t just stuffed with sugar. I always let my customers tell me if they want their drink sweetened or not.”
But it isn’t just Dottie who knows how to make great coffee. No matter when you go, you’ll have a consistently good drink. That’s because Dottie trains her employees well and teaches them not to rush making the drink but to take the time to make it right.
After a few minutes of chatting, Dottie heads back inside and comes back out with three more drinks; a blueberry mango pineapple smoothie; a carrot celery ginger, golden beet, and apple juice; and last but not least, a rosewater lemonade.
Each drink is exquisite. Dottie uses whole frozen fruit for her smoothies instead of a preprocessed mix. The blueberry mango pineapple smoothie is thick and smooth, and refreshing for a hot summer day; with each sip, you can taste every flavor. The carrot celery, ginger, golden beet, and apple juice is a bright, vibrant orange, like autumn in a cup. This healthy and vitamin-filled drink tastes wonderful and is naturally sweet with the apple and gold beets blending with the celery and carrots. Lastly, the rosewater lemonade. Dottie makes all her lemonade by hand. It is cold and energizing, delicate and balanced, perfect for a hot day.
“I opened this place because I knew that Loch Lomond needed a gathering place and a community hub,” Dottie continues. “Sometimes my customers come to me and tell me that they need something, and I know someone who has what they need, and I tell them where to go. And every morning, I see people chatting with each other. That’s what matters to me. It’s my passion,” she smiles. “I love doing this; I love making coffee and making it healthy, and I love supporting the community.”
Come and visit True Grit coffee on a hot summer day or a cold winter morning; either way, True Grit will always give you what you need and put a smile on your face.
TRUE GRIT COFFEEHOUSE
10336 Loch Lomond Rd
Loch Lomond, CA
Hours: Monday through Friday 5 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 7 am to 5 pm