Tag Archive 'ipa_cups'

Domo Arigato, Mr. Saeco

Posted by TheShot on 02 Aug 2012 | Filed under: Home Brew, Machine, Quality Issues

The sad state of home espresso machines is a topic we’ve tried to avoid for long stretches. After our last depressing installment in 2009, we’ve been blissfully ignorant — ratcheting up the solid-but-rarely-outstanding shot pulls on our relatively decent home espresso setup of a Gaggia G106 Factory manual lever machine and a Mazzer Mini grinder. […]

Trip Report: Fiore Caffè

Posted by TheShot on 20 May 2011 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Local Brew

Some Mission residents are enthralled that they finally host a decent coffee shop that doesn’t require disinfectant. Opening just this month, this corner café has bright, large windows and decorative touches: wooden counter seating in front, a converted salon room in back with a marble fireplace, a decorative sofa, and ornamental flowers. Also towards the […]

Trip Report: Caffè Umbria (Seattle, WA)

Posted by TheShot on 21 May 2010 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Foreign Brew, Roasting

Surely we jest about Seattle’s coffee culture being as dated as reruns of Frasier. Coffee journalists and jargonists alike often suffer from a tragic affliction that confuses experience for irrelevance. Infatuation with the over-hyped and under-substantiated pursuit of the next big thing has created a bit of hyperopia: a far-sightedness that makes one blind to […]

Trip Report: Espression by Lavazza at The Drake Hotel (Chicago, IL)

Posted by TheShot on 29 Dec 2009 | Filed under: Add Milk, Café Society, Foreign Brew

Two years ago, when we first encountered this café chain on Via Garibaldi in Torino, Italy, we had no idea how few of them exist. For one, turns out it was the only one in all of Italy. For another, there is only a dozen of them in the world. Oddly, four of them are […]

Trip Report: Caffè Cento

Posted by TheShot on 22 Oct 2009 | Filed under: Café Society, Local Brew, Machine

Not to be confused with Cento, which is decidedly at the opposite end of the amenity scale, this is a classically pretty café at the rear entrance of the elegant Fairmont Hotel. It caters primarily to hotel tourists — many of whom come from around the globe and get a little homesick for something other […]

Trip Report: Ritual Coffee Roasters @ Oxbow Public Market, Napa

Posted by TheShot on 26 Aug 2008 | Filed under: Foreign Brew

Opening in the Spring of 2008, this remote Ritual location is little more than a counter inside Napa’s relatively new Oxbow Public Market. At first we questioned why the Wine Country needed a Ritual outlet — rather than an expansion of Sonoma-County-based Flying Goat Coffee. But then as we’ve monitored the quality over at The […]

Trip Report: Café Murano

Posted by TheShot on 08 Jul 2008 | Filed under: Local Brew

This café is something of a neighborhood favorite for its quirky atmosphere and ridiculously cheap (though not that great) coffee. Inside there’s found art everywhere — plus painted café tables, a couple of seats from movie theaters (with cup-holders), juicers on display, wine for $9 a bottle, and a few outdoor sidewalk café tables under […]

Trip Report: Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park

Posted by TheShot on 22 Jul 2007 | Filed under: Home Brew

A Peninsula people-watching Mecca, typically filled with large crowds throughout the day and skirmishes over available outdoor tables. It’s been that way here since I first entered this place 15 years ago. They have large indoor and outdoor seating areas, local art, occasional musicians, and obligatory patrons in bike shorts. One of the most indelible […]

Trip Report: Spike’s Coffee & Teas

Posted by TheShot on 29 Nov 2006 | Filed under: Local Brew

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 […]

Trip Report: Mara’s Italian Pastry

Posted by TheShot on 25 Nov 2006 | Filed under: Café Society, Consumer Trends, Local Brew

This old school, Calabrian-themed Italian pastry shop once had a touch for good espresso under its longtime ownership. They owner had been using Graffeo beans religiously since 1985. However, by 2006 they switched to Lavazza beans and began making inferior espresso (though the two aren’t exactly cause-and-effect). I’ve been unable to confirm with certainty, but […]

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