Coffee Diary – Bay Area 2009.03
Coffee is a passion for me, as it is for many people. It helps me
wake up in the morning, and keeps me from having to use
toothpicks to keep my eyelids up in the afternoon! Actually, my
love of coffee came from two places, right at home.
My Mom loved coffee, and trained me in good coffee making
and appreciation from a tender age. In addition to that we had
the good luck to live next door to the marketing chief for one
of the biggest coffee companies in San Francisco, who was very
friendly towards just about every thing, but not about a bad cup
Our neighbor would check up on us from time to time to make
sure we were using his good coffee. It would have been hard not
to, as it was just what we smelled directly, every time we got to
the West end of the Bay Bridge and entered the City by car! How
that smell would delight us, and remind us how important it is to
have a really good “cuppa joe”!
As I went about my life, I realized how important a really good
cup of coffee was to me. I stored away memories about which
places had the really good cup, and where the environment was
better for enjoying it. When I got a smartphone in my hands,
along with all the basic stuff, I made heavy use of the document
processing capabilities, to write articles and papers. It wasn’t
long before I tired of keeping all my coffee information in my
head. I resolved to keep a coffee diary about the great, the good,
and the ugly of the coffee which came my way each day. Maybe
the coffee inspired me!
This is a portion of my coffee diary. If you have coffee tasting
notes, reviews and comments, I look forward to reading them, too!
cafe 504 Wesley, Oakland 080405 The coffee tasted like it was
from South or Central America, it was earthy tasting and mediocre.
It was served in a paper cup. J. said she’d speak with my friend
about getting some truly good coffee in the place.
080405 Kona Coffee & Smoothies, Alameda Antiques Fair. Double
was $2.00. served in paper. Weak body and low caffeine. quantity
organic coffee Mission @ 5th, double for $2, reasonable quantity.
The liquid tastes like it’s South American. It was served in a cold
espresso cup, quantity was like a single, ca 60cl.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 773 Market. single $1.75, served in paper,
quantity very little, ca 40cl. Taste was moderately bitter, origin
South or Central American.
080412 diBartolo, Grand Ave., Oakland. Their caffe filtre measured
about 400cl, and cost $1.85, served in a paper cup. Origin was
a blend of Indonesian and South American coffees. It had an
earthy foretaste with a clean finish, pretty strong caffeine. It
was a satisfying cuppa Joe. diBartolo cafe used
Duttori diBartolo blend.
080412 cafe 504 Wesley. They had a special blend from Ritual on tap
that day. It was too tough for me, a brutally bitter mix of burned South
American and Indonesian coffees that was beyond comprehension.
I couldn’t, and didn’t drink it. The owner said she liked it in blended
with milk and cocoa.
cafe 504 Wesley 080422 The coffee was very much better, mellower tasting. J. said it was the same R*blend as previously, but that she’d let it sit, un-ground, for three days in the jar prior to preparing it for service.
080424 Whole Foods, Telegraph @ Ashby, Berkeley, CA really terrible
doppio espresso, bitter, somewhat stale tasting. Maybe it was old bean
slightly carbonized in an attempt to cover the lack of freshness?Not even
honey and half-creme saved it.
cafe 504 Wesley: 080506 J. has gotten much better about
understanding the strengths and weaknesses of blends and
single growth coffees. While still using Ritual coffees, she’s
serving a much better cup. She also appreciates me as an
adviser and customer. I appreciate her consciousness as a
vendor, and like being in the space she’s created.
080510 diBartolo Cafe nicely spicy blend in the Americano
today, very Indonesian, with a blend of central american strength
080604 33 Revolutions, El Cerrito. It was a very small splash of
espresso for single, costing $2.00. Dark color, thick body. It did
not have a nice taste, close to burnt. The origin was African +
Central American at some much earlier time, but this was stale.
This visit was a mistake not to be repeated.
080605 Fat Apple’s, , Albany. The single cost $1.80. was very little,
deep but not rich, with a crummy crema, and not strong.
080605 Starbuck’s double costs $1.80, is somewhat more fulsome
than a single at Fat Apple’s with decent crema, passable
flavor, at least not burned or bitter, but also not very strong.
080627 Cafe 504 Buranoa Rawanda coffee with a smooth taste
of BLUEBERRIES!!! It also has quite powerful caffein. Albeit
un-blended, It’s a delightful cuppa!
080707 Cafe 504 Fazenda Sao Paulo, Brazil nose is bright and
clean, predominately Fig-like, and the taste is almondish.
The body is deeply brown. It was very fresh and satisfying.
Jamie & Keith, of Cafe 504: books and authors discussion. Jonathan
Saffron Foer “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is recommended,
along with his others. Allison (his wife) “History of Love”, and Dave Eggars “A work of staggering genius” also recommended.
080708 Peet’s original location. Sumatra, filter brewed. Dusky nose,
smooth taste that’s slightly cinnamon. Robust and deep body, a good
cuppa joe, not great, what with a small being 6 oz. & costing $1.82 all in.
080717 Fillmore Cafe 1301 Fillmore. Double Espresso $1.75. Good
crema, not bitter. Good amount, about 60cl. Tastes pretty smooth,
has lots of power.
081016 La Coppa espresso is a blend of a tub of Costa Rica, 3 scoops of
Papua New Guinea and six scoops of Guatemala. John says the key to
getting an even roast is buying the same grade (size) beans across the
selection, so no beans burn as others are just getting to proper roast.
The espresso here is low acid and highly flowery in fragrance, strong
in caffeine. Crema and colour pattern great. $1.15 for single, doppio $1.65.
081021 Cafe McBryde, Richmond CA. Single espresso is smooth without
crema. nose lacks flower or spice. taste is drab. low acid. $1.67 doppio Esp.
081110 Peerless Coffee Espresso Bar 260 Oak St. Oakland, CA. doppio
Espresso $1.60, mostly South American Robusto with hint of East African.
Not wonderful nose or taste, reasonable quantity of fairly strong coffee.
Has outdoors seating area, but paper cups only.
081119 Ultimate Grounds, 4225 Park Blvd., Oak. Doppio $1.75 in ceramic.
Good aroma of Indonesian florals, good body of American Arabica.
Reasonably fresh, quite strong. Balanced and satisfying. Correct
temperature and prompt service, with a smile and a Thank You. Seating
outside front + back, inside with no music. Wifi available.