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Carmel/Monterey-area:
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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area:
 

Peetís espresso looked better than it tasted. I visit this coffee house because itís so beautiful and relaxing. They have very nice pastries which I can enjoy with a latte sitting outside overlooking the ocean.

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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Sun Apr 25, 2010, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area:
 

The best espresso in Monterey, cafe Lumiere (first mentioned on page 2 of this thread). They use coffee from Acme in Seaside. Last week I had this good espresso, tasted a lot better than it looked, which had nice chocolate with herb flavors and good body. Note: that sign is not nice.

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alsterling
Senior Member
alsterling
Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 682
Location: Dana Point, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1 (Had Expo)
Grinder: Macap M4 & Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: Not yet...
Drip: Capresso MT-500 & Melitta...
Roaster: Hottop Digital
Posted Mon Apr 26, 2010, 8:24am
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Lumiere; new owner or right barista?
 

Gary... one of my most memorable negative experiences in retail specialty coffee was at Lumiere. (see my post/comments in this thread). The last bit of info I received about this place was that the owner was not sociable, and the best barista who cared and knew how to brew an espresso worked at night. (?) Is that still the case, or can they be considered otherwise? I was a bit surprised, when scanning the thread, that your most recent comment was so positive. BTW... I gave up on Javatini's and the concept of consistency not long after your fateful visit. I can still count on one... well, maybe two hands, the number of reliable specialty coffee retailers on the CA coast.

 
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alsterling
Senior Member
alsterling
Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 682
Location: Dana Point, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1 (Had Expo)
Grinder: Macap M4 & Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: Not yet...
Drip: Capresso MT-500 & Melitta...
Roaster: Hottop Digital
Posted Mon Apr 26, 2010, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

Well Gary, since I was scanning this thread, and responded to your recent Lumiere post, I caught your comment on this Salinas shop. Nearly a year ago, while driving back from the SF bay area to my SoCal office, I stopped in Salinas for what I thought might be a decent traditional cappuccino. The shop was Cherry Bean Gourmet Coffeehouse & Roastery. The word "roastery" made me think that if they roasted, the must at least have some modicum of intelligence for proper brewing. It was as equally disappointing as your experience at Viva Espresso. The minute I saw the extraction start almost as soon as the barista initiated the process, I knew I was getting garbage. The problem with yelp.com reviews is that many of the coffee shop reviewers, if they were to add weighted value to each segment of the shops offering, would reveal that they greatly skew their opinions based on bakery/food items, available Wi-fi and seating comfort. I gave Cherry Bean a 2-star, in the midst of many who think it's nirvana. My opinion is that it's all about one's reference points. Evidently, "Salinas-ites" don't get out much. (?)

 
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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2010, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

San Juan Bautista now has its first real coffee house! I met the owner Dmitri last April at the Barefoot Coffee Meet the Producer Week!
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/worldregional/uswest/479042

Last April Dmitri told me that he was going to open his own coffee house in San Juan Bautista, which is a small and cute historic town with a California mission. When I drive on HWY 101 going south, about a 30 minute drive before I get to Monterey, I pass the town of San Juan Bautista.

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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2010, 12:16pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

August 14, 2010 the grand opening of Vertigo coffee in San Juan Bautista. Pretty and peaceful patio on a quiet street. Very different from coffee houses in busy San Francisco. Visiting San Juan Bautista really gives a feel of being an oasis being far away from the city.
http://www.vertigocoffee.com/

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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2010, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

Free drinks on opening day! Dmitri roasts his own coffee. The mission clock tower is on the label of the coffee bags.

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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2010, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

Espresso pulled by Dmitri on a four group LaMarzocco. All baristas at Vertigo are in training, so for ease of use they currently use a Swift grinder. The espresso had a nice dark chocolate taste with herbal pungency but unfortunately also roast flavors, which is a definite no-no for me. Dmitri told me that he has lighter and darker roasted beans and this espresso was pulled with the darker roast which he used because it cuts well through the milk and most customers order milk based coffee drinks. I was somehow hoping that since I met Dmitri at the Barefoot event in April, that his roast style would be similar to Barefoot but obviously each roaster has their own goal of what they want to achieve in an espresso.

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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2010, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

Nice, quiet and peaceful patio to enjoy a cappuccino. I enjoyed this traditional tasting cappa, but the milk was not steamed as sweet as I would like.

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GaryH
Senior Member
GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 16, 2010, 12:18pm
Subject: Re: Carmel/Monterey-area: Salinas has no "competent specialty coffee retailers."
 

One more espresso. Flavor profile is similar to espressos from Acme in Seaside. By tuning out the roast flavors I did enjoy this espresso, which had plenty dark chocolate and complex flavors with slight dirty taste (I do like dirt!). Hopefully next time I visit Monterey and drive by San Juan Bautista they're pulling shots with light roasted beans.

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