This popular neighborhood café deserves the attention. They have shown a tremendous amount of consistency over the past few years; I can tell when an age-old review on CoffeeRatings.com still nails the espresso at some establishment over a year or two later. The price of a single espresso may have risen 40¢ since 2003, but the rest is the same.

In a small, humble space that goes relatively deep alongside wall-to-wall coffee beans. They have a few indoor tables and a few for the sidewalk outside as well. And of course, they offer a wide variety of loose teas and roasted beans for sale.

It's almost closing time at Spike's Spike's coffeeteria

The baristas here tamp well and are deliberately patient. They serve a modestly sized espresso with a dark brown, congealed crema of good thickness; it holds together well and persists throughout the cup. It has a very smooth texture with a robust, syrup-like body. Well-balanced, complex, and a rich flavor — tasting of tobacco with some herbal and spicy elements. Not a sweet cup, but there’s a lot going on. Served in stocky IPA cups.

Read the updated review.

Inside Spike's Coffee & Teas Spike's espresso