The Pearlina tea shop shut down and was replaced by this French bakery/café. At its heart is a great artisan baker who makes extraordinary pastries and breads (and is a true artisan: no cookie cutter stuff here). This is the baker’s only retail outlet, as the French team behind it have supplied some 40 local restaurants for years.

Sidewalk seating in front of the Brioche Bakery Views of downtown in front of the Brioche Bakery

It’s a tight space with a few indoor tables along the windows facing the sidewalk, but there are also a couple of outdoor tables and a bench. They’re heavy on the Equator Estate Coffees branding — making it clear at every opportunity who supplies their coffee.

Using a two-group La Spaziale at the back, they pull espresso shots with a striped, medium brown crema — somewhat thinner in size but thicker in consistency — often with a white dot stretched across the top (they haven’t perfected their brewing temperatures). It has a solid mouthfeel, and it tastes smoky — of tobacco and herbs, but just short of any ashiness or bitterness. About as good an espresso as you can expect from a French place.

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Inside the Brioche Bakery The Brioche Bakery espresso