Saturday, October 29, 2005

City Lights Espresso

Location: 1171 Homestead, Santa Clara.

Reviewed: Oct. 29, 2005

Espresso: My espresso this morning was served in a proper ceramic cup. It had a thick crema, although it dissipated rapidly. The crema was medium-to-pale in color with a small patch of 'white-out'. Having a full body and low acidity, it displayed hints of chocolate and vanilla, with only a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Atmosphere: CLE is layed-out in an odd manner with the serving/ordering counter bodering something of a hallway in between what are effectively two rooms. It can make for a crowded jostle when things are busy. The shop is clean and quiet. There are a couple of couches in the front 'room' in addition to the standard cafe tables. A chess board is set up on a coffee table between the couches.

There is another location located inside the main branch of the Santa Clara city library.

Verdict: The coffee was suprisingly ok, although not great. I suppose I'd hang there if I could get a pick-up game of chess going.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Emporio Rulli

Location: Union Square, San Francisco

Reviewed: October 4, 2005

Espresso: The espresso here was poured directly into the cup, but the crema was pale and thin. It did have some interesting fruity and chocolate notes, but they were mostly overwhelmed by bitterness.

Atmosphere: Rulli is a very posh sort of place. There is a marble floor, and the baristas work in white shirts and black ties. The pastry case is filled with very good looking pastries. Seating is limited, and the place can get very crowded. Most of the seating is outdoors on the square.

Verdict: This place seems to have potential. They could probably be pretty good with some training. As it now stands, they are a disappointment.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Caffe Pergolesi

Location: 418 Cedar St., Santa Cruz

Reviewed: October 2, 2005

Espresso: The espresso here was extremely hot with very pale crema that dissipated rapidly. My "single" was served nearly overflowing in a cup that must have been ~3.5 oz. in capacity. The primary taste characteristic was bitter.

Atmosphere: The Perg is a local Santa Cruz icon and is populated by many people at all hours of the day and night. Alterna-art hangs on the walls. Outdoor seating is provided on two decks surrounded by trees. Non-smokers are segregated, but smoke tends to drift over from the smoking deck. Free wifi.

Verdict: A good place to watch people and drink something other than espresso.