Sunday, December 09, 2007

Verve Coffee Roasters

Location: 816 41st Ave., Santa Cruz

Reviewed: December 8, 2007

Espresso: Verve roasts their own coffee next door to the coffeeshop, and, when I was there, the beans were only a day or two out of the roaster. The freshness of the beans was reflected in the somewhat bubbly crema. The crema was extremely dark, thick, and persistent. The shot, which was ground-to-order and tamped hard, was quite the ristretto pour, perhaps less than 1oz for a double. The barista even threw out his first attempt at making my shot. The shot was of moderate body, and tasted of up-front fruit fading to a more chocolate note.

Atmosphere: Verve is a medium-sized shop with lots of windows and free wifi. Typical, I suppose. Parking in the neighborhood can be difficult. The staff is friendly and talkative.

Verdict: Among the best.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Newark Java

Location: 6139 Jarvis Ave., Newark

Reviewed: December 7, 2007

Espresso: My request for a single resulted in far too much liquid with a thin dissipating light-coloured crema in a straight-sided cup with an extremely mismatched saucer. Not only did the barista pre-grind and not pay attention to the pour, but she didn't even lock the portafilter all the way into place, resulting in coffee leaking around the outside thereof. To the extent the stale beans had any taste at all it was bitter.

Atmosphere: Newark Java is a moderately-sized shop in a random stripmall in suburbia. Of note are the coffee-motif decorations.

Verdict: I still can't believe I drank this!