Sunday, August 06, 2006

Caffe e Via

Reviewed: August 6, 2006

Location: 850 W. Pacheco Blvd., Los Banos

There are multiple other locations throughout the Fresno area.

Espresso: My double was served in a 12oz. paper cup. It reached nearly 4oz. in volume and was extremely hot. The crema was almost uniformly pale and thin; there was a small darker strip present, and the thinness of the crema was certainly not helped by the wide-brimmed cup. The heat seemed to blanch out all the flavour that might have otherwise been present. There was a bit of nuttiness and bitterness.

Atmosphere: All Caffe e Via locations are drive-throughs, so I'm going to spare my readers a description of the interior of my car. This status possibly excuses the use of a paper cup, but it still should have been properly sized.

Verdict: If you're driving through Los Banos and need caffeine...


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but you must've visited Starbucks not Caffe e Via. Caffe e Via is a 4 time consecutive SCAA TOPS award winner for excellence in coffee. We may be a drive thru coffee shop but our coffee is some of the best you will find around. Our espresso blend is 100% arabica beans, no fillers.

There is NO possible way your double shot could've been 4oz. Are you measuring by eye? Each double shot measures to 2.5 ounces. As a barista at C.E.V. I know from rigorous training and experience that our doubles are 2.5 ounces and timed from 20-30 seconds with a goal of a 25 second shot. Anything outside those perimeters and the shot is discarded.

As for an extremely hot shot. I'm sorry, I thought coffee was supposed to be hot. To be sure though, I tested the espresso with three different thermometers upon reading your review. All read out to 150 degrees fahrenheit, the approximate temperature of our lattes, mochas, and all other hot beverages we serve.

As a shift leader and barista at Caffe e Via in Los Banos I take pride in the quality of service to our customers and to the complete dedication, devotion, and respect for espresso we serve up. I'd recommend stopping by again to have another double shot where it's ground, tamped, and extracted right from the porta filter into that paper cup and served up immediately. With rich, semi-dark, thick crema that makes the taste buds explode and the true essence of coffee come out.

espressophile said...

Absolutely, I estimate shot volume by eye, and if you'd read more than one of my reviews, you should have come across sufficient information to realize that. I thought I recalled stating something to the effect that I'm not so experienced in estimating in large cups and so I might be off, but it isn't here. Perhaps I left that out accidentally, or perhaps I mistyped 4oz. when I meant 3oz. Honestly, I don't recall as it's been a while.

Espresso is supposed to be hot, but it isn't supposed to be of a mouth-scalding termperature. As you most assuredly know, a grouphead can heat up when it is idle. I would assume that the barista simply didn't perform an adequate cooling flush.

Remember that I only evaluate a single experience, although I'm always happy to come back and take a renewed look. I don't get out that way very often, but I will see if I can stop by when I can.