Tag Archive 'espresso_review'

Trip Report: Mountain Grounds (Martinez, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 17 Feb 2015 | Filed under: Beans, Foreign Brew, Local Brew, Roasting

As we mentioned in our last review of a remote Martinez, CA coffee house: good coffee is everywhere. In fact, the modern boom in good coffee purveyors is akin to the boom of mom & pop video rental stores in the 1980s and ’90s. And as some of these small businesses grow a little larger […]

Trip Report: Barrelista (Martinez, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 04 Feb 2015 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Local Brew

“You can find good coffee just about anywhere these days.” That’s been something of a mantra of ours over the past few years — whether it’s to question the point of archaic-yet-always-cited “America’s Best Coffee Cities” surveys in popular media or the need for coffee travel kits. Yet another case in point is my brother’s […]

Trip Report: Blue Bottle Coffee Co. at Heath Ceramics (Mission District)

Posted by TheShot on 01 Feb 2015 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Local Brew

One of Blue Bottle Coffee‘s great challenges today is to continue growing with the success of their coffee and café operations while avoiding becoming a commodity: a boilerplate coffee shop with a flavor profile so consistent that it becomes a little monotonous and boring, despite its obvious quality. Back in 2007 we wrote about Blue […]

Trip Report: Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar (Healdsburg, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 27 Jan 2015 | Filed under: Foreign Brew, Local Brew

This renowned pie bar (/bakery) and ice cream shop opened in May 2014 to a lot of wine country accolades. And although coffee isn’t in their name, they also give a significant nod to their coffee service. It’s a simplistic storefront off of the historic Healdsburg Town Square. Everything is covered in white-painted wood — […]

Trip Report: Cartel Coffee Lab (Scottsdale, AZ)

Posted by TheShot on 13 Jan 2015 | Filed under: Beans, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Roasting

It has been over 20 years since I last spent real time in Arizona. And back then it was either the Flagstaff or Tucson areas — deliberately not Phoenix, with its then-legendary saturation of Denny’s-per-square-mile, above-ground cemetery lifestyle, all the bad things about Los Angeles (smog, traffic) and none of the good (beaches, movie stars), […]

Trip Report: Illy Caffè (Union St., Cow Hollow)

Posted by TheShot on 31 Dec 2014 | Filed under: Add Milk, Café Society, Consumer Trends, Home Brew, Local Brew, Quality Issues, Roasting

illy caffè North America has operated Espressamente cafés here as in Europe, but this example is modeled more after a truer café rather than coffee bar per se. As such, Illy has designated it with a different name (“illy caffè”). However, that hasn’t stopped many confused locals who still insist on calling it “Espressamente.” (I […]

Trip Report: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters (Union St., Cow Hollow)

Posted by TheShot on 29 Dec 2014 | Filed under: Café Society, Local Brew, Roasting

Taking its name from the 2013 hit single by Miley Cyrus… OK, no, seriously. While the dynamic duo of Trish Rothgeb’s roasting combined with Nick Cho’s barista and service know-how (and hopefully someone else’s tax accounting) has been in the Bay Area for quite a few years, tracking their coffee house openings and closings has […]

Trip Report: Caffé Vita (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport)

Posted by TheShot on 22 Dec 2014 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Foreign Brew, Starbucks

There are a few great things about the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (or SeaTac). One is a SubPop retail shop that opened in May 2014. Another is a Beecher’s Cheese shop. And next door to Beecher’s is a full-on legitimate (not just for the airport-weary) Caffé Vita. This ain’t your ordinary airport espresso. Ignore the Hall […]

Trip Report: Seattle Coffee Works (Seattle, WA)

Posted by TheShot on 03 Dec 2014 | Filed under: Foreign Brew, Machine, Quality Issues, Roasting, Starbucks

Downtown Seattle is something of an espresso wasteland compared to most other city downtowns, especially around the touristy Pike Place Market. Which is ironic, given that it is the birthplace of the biggest coffee quality movement America has ever experienced (i.e., Starbucks). However, that’s also part of the problem: independent specialty coffee retailers grew successful […]

Trip Report: Caffe Ladro (Downtown Seattle, Pine St.)

Posted by TheShot on 24 Nov 2014 | Filed under: Café Society, Foreign Brew, Roasting, Starbucks

Just when you thought I was ready to fawn over every old school coffeehouse in Seattle, here’s something to keep me honest. Caffe Ladro has been around in Seattle since 1994, and this downtown spot has been one of their now 14 locations for at least what seems like a decade. It resides in a […]

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