Locals have raved about this indie coffee and espresso shop for decades. The owner roasts his own, and it’s been in operation since 1976. However, there is no mistaking that the espresso standards here leave a lot to be desired. We may be accused of being traditionalists from time-to-time. But this is an example where we’re that isn’t too likely.
For outdoor seating, there’s a single bench along the front sidewalk. But inside, there’s everything from a decommissioned organ and two Mrs. PacMan machines. The clientele here also skew to an odd lot: a combination of studious laptop users, high schoolers who avoid the Starbucks across 41st St., and more than a few neighborhood psychotics (one required us to avert our eyes to avoid stumbling into her boisterous conversations with herself). They offer food and fountain drinks, but it’s mainly about the coffee here.
Using a three-group La Spaziale, they pull their shots into odd metal cups with a minimal wisp of medium brown, splotchy crema that’s otherwise little more than massive bald spots on the surface. The cup lacks aroma and potency, but it has a generally not-unpleasant earthy flavor with some notes of pungency and spices. Served in chipped Crate & Barrel China-made porcelain cups. If this place is noteworthy, it’s certainly not for their namesake espresso.
Read the review of Gaylord Caffe Espresso in Oakland.
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