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.