Thursday, April 20, 2006

Kern Street Coffee Co.

Location: 2134 Kern Street, Fresno

Reviewed: April 19, 2006

Espresso: My request was for a single, and I'm pretty sure I was served a double (~2.5oz). The shot was medium-bodied and fairly bright. The crema was pale-to-medium and quite thin; it dissipated very rapidly. It had some fruity tones (tending toward berry-like or licorice), and wasn't particularly bitter. It was extremely hot. The barista did not grind to order as such. He appeared to be grinding the next shot upon dosing the one he was about to brew. Of note, the barista seemed to be either complaining about the way a customer defined their drink or debating about it with one of the other employees.

Kern Street is a smallish shop in downtown Fresno. The ordering counter is immediately inside the door, causing the line to snarl. Across the squarish room is a nice couch and a piano. There's a large pillar and some counters next to it in the middle of the floor, adding to the traffic confusion. The shop contains lighter tones and has a high, open ceiling.

Verdict: Coffee wasn't all that great, and the place needs a serious dose of feng shui.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a double almost every morning at Kern Street Coffee Co. My experience is that the espresso is rich and sweet and not bitter at all. The barista (and they are trained baristas) take care to do all the right steps to make a rich cup with an aromatic crema. If the grind needs to be adjusted and the cup is not perfect the barista will toss the cup, adjust the grind and make another one.

Yes it does get crowded at Kern Street Coffee Co. but it is a friendly place where "everybody knows your name". If you are looking for a place that is less crowded, there are two chain coffee houses within blocks that have fewer customers. However one of them does not even make an espresso. They call it doppio (no crema, no aroma)

I have tried espresso all over town and around the world. Few places make the effort to make a good cup of espresso.

Verdict: You will be hard pressed to find a better cup of espresso, except in a European Coffee House, than at Kern Street Coffee.