Tag Archive 'rancilio'

Automating Mediocrity: The Saeco Syntia Focus Home Espresso Machine, Part II

Posted by TheShot on 23 Oct 2012 | Filed under: Add Milk, Consumer Trends, Home Brew, Machine, Quality Issues, Starbucks

Two months ago we reported on our trials with a superautomatic home espresso machine representing much of the state-of-the-art: the Philips Saeco Syntia Focus. Reading Saeco’s product literature and marketing communications, you’d be led to believe that this machine made “the perfect espresso” every time. But to most people who read our original post two […]

Trip Report: Acme Coffee Roasting Co. (Seaside, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 19 Jun 2012 | Filed under: Foreign Brew, Roasting

What a fantastic find on the fringes of Monterey city. This location, open for a few years now, is mostly a roastery (with a roaster in back supplied by Roasters Exchange) who supplies a number of area restaurants and cafés, however they also offer kiosk-like walk-up retail beverage service. The address will take you to […]

Finding the best is getting a whole lot worse

Posted by TheShot on 03 Nov 2011 | Filed under: Beans, CoffeeRatings.com, Consumer Trends, Machine, Quality Issues

In the eight years since we started CoffeeRatings.com, we’ve been patiently waiting for something better. After all, we built CoffeeRatings.com out of frustration over a lack of useful quality information about area coffeehouses in a semi-structured, objective-criteria-driven format. So you’d think we’d be encouraged by the acute rise in venture-capital-funded code monkeys who promise to […]

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 […]

If your coffee ain’t broke, should you fix it?

Posted by TheShot on 24 Nov 2010 | Filed under: Consumer Trends, Home Brew, Machine, Quality Issues

Thanks to friend of this blog, Shawn Steiman, for pointing out this somewhat amusing article from today’s New York Times: Loving Coffee Without Being a Drip – NYTimes.com. In something of an ode to the Mr. Coffee automatic filter drip machine, the author — Times food critic, Frank Bruni — laments the many overly precious […]

Trip Report: Carmel Belle (Carmel, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 16 Mar 2010 | Filed under: Foreign Brew

Established on this spot in 1955, Paolina’s operated as Carmel’s oldest running Italian restaurant for over 50 years. It was little more than a cafeteria-style indoor food counter, though they used a decorative, three-group, manual, brass eagle Rancilio machine with “Paolina’s” detailed on the back. The espresso may not have been memorable, but their machine […]

Trip Report: Pirate Cat Radio Cafe & Studio

Posted by TheShot on 27 Mar 2009 | Filed under: Beans, Café Society, Local Brew

This is the kind of place that makes you proud to live in San Francisco. We knew we were in for a treat when we walked in, saw the black-and-red paint all over the space, saw the radio studio with its skull-and-crossbones banner that looks out over the café, and heard the DJ airing Motörhead […]

Trip Report: Connoisseur Coffee Company (Redwood City, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 28 Jan 2009 | Filed under: Beans, Foreign Brew, Roasting

Locals on the Peninsula generally have good things to say about this place, and with good reason. This is primarily a roaster with a retail café operation hidden inside among its “warehouse” floorspace — perhaps a glimpse of what Peet’s Coffee & Tea was like just as they made the transition from a bean-and-leaf pure-play […]

Trip Report: ZombieRunner (Palo Alto, CA)

Posted by TheShot on 21 Jan 2009 | Filed under: Barista, Foreign Brew, Roasting

You have got to be kidding us. A runner’s supply store with outstanding espresso — perhaps the best in town? You bet. And a big thanks to veteran San Jose Coffee Geek, Gary Hutchison, for publicizing this unusual discovery. This place ran as an online-only store for several years before opening this physical location in […]

Trip Report: Nani’s Coffee

Posted by TheShot on 24 Jul 2008 | Filed under: Local Brew

This café sits on the south side of Geary Blvd.’s viaduct/quasi-freeway exit, west of Masonic Ave. There’s a Denny’s-esque wall of curved glass that creates an almost greenhouse-like front enclosure, but you need to enter this small space by walking down the narrow passageway just past it. Inside there’s a colorful interior with several café […]

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