BY NATION’S RESTAURANT NEWS – Vitality Bowls Superfood Café is going beyond its offerings of nutrient-rich smoothies, bowls, salads and sandwiches with the introduction of a “superfood coffee bar.”

The bar, which is being added to new restaurants where space permits, features classic offerings such as espressos and lattes, but made with organic coffee, as well as organic kombucha on draft and coffees boosted with the nutrient-dense fruits and herbs that are the 28-unit chain’s hallmark. The three most popular dairy alternatives — almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk — are all available, too.

“We took a look around at local coffee places, and everyone’s doing the same thing,” vice president of operations Uriah Blum said.

Among the chain’s new specialty drinks are an açaí latte that combines espresso with açai purée, steamed almond milk and coconut sugar; and a pitaya latte made with espresso, pitaya (also known as dragon fruit), coconut sugar and steamed coconut milk.

The coffee bar serves kombucha and coffee on draft.

Organic coconut sugar is the default sweetener at the coffee bar, vice president of operations Uriah Blum said.

“As always with everything we do, we try to leverage the natural flavors of the ingredients,” he said, adding that coconut sugar does that better than more conventional sweeteners. However, he said Sugar in the Raw and stevia are available upon request due to customer demand.

The coffee bar was tested at the chain’s company-owned store in Walnut Creek, Calif., and has been introduced at new franchised locations in Atlanta; Lubbock, Texas; and Castle Rock, Colo.

The bar also offers organic cold brew coffee in a keg with nitrogen, and Blum said they are currently developing a whole cold coffee menu for next summer, as well as a chia seed protein latte with maca, a medicinal plant from Peru.

Vitality Bowls is headquartered in San Ramon, Calif.

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