This Oakland/Rockridge outlet of the small chain is a little smaller than its SF Fillmore District counterpart, but the standards are the same. Outside there’s a sidewalk bench and a couple of chairs; inside there are four beat-up wooden tables and a tendency for houseflies to gather (just something odd about the building dynamics, location, and air flow here). Plus the requisite wall o’ chocolate, of course.

Sidewalk seating in front of Bittersweet in Oakland's Rockridge district Bittersweet's requisite wall o' chocolate

All of their espresso shots are short doubles by default. And using a older, three-group La Marzocco, they pull espresso shots that are potent but not syrupy in consistency. It has a sweet tobacco aroma and a medium brown, even layer of average thickness crema. Flavorwise, there’s honey and tobacco served in their brown ACF cups. A good, Blue Bottle effort.

Read the review of Bittersweet – The Chocolate Café @ Oakland.

Inside Bittersweet, Oakland The Bittersweet, Oakland espresso