Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Abbey Coffee Lounge

Location: 350 Mission Street, Santa Cruz

Reviewed: January 4, 2009

Espresso: The Abbey uses the Sermon blend from Verve. They have obviously been trained well. They grind/tamp each shot and use a naked portafilter. The only oddity is that they have a grinder with neither a doser nor a fork. Nonetheless, they produce short shots with a thick crema of an even medium-dark brown color. The resulting cup is full-bodied, with lots of chocolate and some almond notes, along with an aroma of citrus-orange.

Atmosphere: The Abbey is located inside a church (making the blend appropriate); it's not the easiest place to find if you don't know this, but they do have signage located on the sidewalk. The interior is large, disorganized and cluttered. There's a lot of seating and free wifi. Friendly staff, weekly concerts and other events.

Verdict: Coffee as religion.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Wandering Goat Coffee

Location: 268 Madison Street, Eugene, Oregon

Reviewed: December 28, 2008

Espresso: Wandering Goat roasts their own coffee and produces an espresso called Espresso Chupacabra. My shot was ground-to-order, and, as I was the first customer of the day, it was apparent that the barista had spent some time dialing in before the shop opened. In the cup, it was light-bodied with a strong floral aroma and notes of caramel and citrus. The crema was dark, thick, and persistent.

Atmosphere: Wandering Goat is oddly located in an industrial section of town. This is likely due to their roasting operations and possible land use restrictions on such. In any case, it's a large shop, albeit somewhat dark because of a lack of much fenestration in the building. They have the requisite couches and wifi.

Verdict: Good. Stop by if you drive through Eugene.