Thursday, March 29, 2007

Almaden Roasting Co.

Location: 6055 Meridian Ave., San Jose

Reviewed: March 29, 2007

Espresso: My order for a single resulted in a pre-ground double being poured into a shot pitcher and then half being poured into a 12oz. paper cup. It was probably near 2oz. in total volume and had a pale, thin crema. It was overly hot, thin-bodied, and slightly astringent. It tasted primarily of carbon smoke with slight hints of rubber.

Atmosphere: Almaden Roasting Co. is a nice enough place. It's open and light, squarish in shape, and with several small cafe tables. The tables and chairs are of a black metal construction and tend toward elegant.

Verdict: A depressingly common combination of bad coffee in a nice place.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Centro Espresso

Location: 733 4th St., Santa Rosa

Reviewed: March 15, 2007

Espresso: Centro uses coffee from Ecco Caffe. My shot was ground-to-order, poured directly into the (paper, but properly-sized) cup. Although the menu specified that all shots were double ristretto, my pour was closer in size to the 2oz. standard. The crema was silky and thick, but it dissipated rapidly, possibly because of the wide rim on the cup. The shot was sweet, tasting of caramel and honey and was full-bodied. It was very hot.

Atmosphere: Centro is a take-out only bar (see above as regards paper cup) located inside Sawyer's News Stand. That being said, there are a couple of tables on the sidewalk out front.

Verdict: Pretty good; only minor issues.