Are you ready for experiences that connect you with the essence of Sacramento and its people?

When you're traveling, sometimes it is comforting to stop into a Starbucks and get a "tall half-skinny half-one- percent extra hot split quad shot (two shots decaf, two shots regular) latte with whip" that tastes exactly like it does at home.

But it's not authentic.

Unlike bigger cities, Sacramento has an ideal size. There are no tourist-only areas where residents avoid. In fact, locals and tourists can enjoy a pretty similar quality of life. Meet some people in our neighborhood whose lives create lasting memories when you visit us:

Jason Griest of Old Soul Coffee roasting, an authentic Sacramento attraction.THE COFFEE ROASTER, Jason Griest
In 2006 after opening another mainstay on the capital's coffeehouse circuit, Jason Griest and artisanal baker, Tim Jordan, started a wholesale coffee bean roasting business. Old Soul Co. sources green beans from small estates and fincas, then lightly roasts them in a 12-pound roaster.

"My favorite days are roasting days because it smells so great in there," hinted Diana, a regular patron.

"You can actually watch bakers put high-grade crack into those addictive ham and cheese croissants," remarked another patron, Richard.

Located only blocks from the Sacramento Convention Center and downtown hotels, the warehouse-cafe (and de facto community center) has even fueled real estate development with alley in-fill projects.

After opening two more coffee-inspired community centers, including one with beer and wine options, founders and fans petitioned to bring soul to the new terminal at Sacramento International Airport. After all, there's a very comforting feeling in enjoying a cup of coffee just before leaving on a trip (or coming home from one).

Throughout the Spring, I'll introduce you to more neighbors who shape experiential travel and tourism in Sacramento. Sign up to get the latest issue of our complimentary SCVB visitor guide.