Entries Tagged 'Reviews' ↓
June 9th, 2013 — Reviews
Obviously I checked into local coffee places in advance of us moving to our new office in the San Francisco financial district earlier this year. Two options, a small outdoor cafe, Jackson Place Cafe and a truck, Reveille Coffee in a car park. Both in the neighboring block to the office. The truck has become a lovely work habit each mid morning. There’s a core of 4 of us who head out each morning and the group grows and changes depending on who’s in town or who might feel like a coffee. So far (3 months) we haven’t had to worry about what to do if it’s raining! Coming out of winter now we’re starting to linger in the sun sometimes for a chat.
The coffee is consistently good. We know a couple of the baristas by name now and they’re getting used to the ‘long black’ ordered by Pax who’s currently part of the coffee crew. The coffee is strong and milk always thick and velvety and they have a decaf which is very decent when I need an excuse to go for a walk in the afternoon.
They have an actual cafe with seats about 3 blocks further down the road that we’ve been to once. The truck is only open on weekdays until about 4pm. They have a low table and a few stools in the car park if you’re lucky enough to strike them unoccupied.
Reveille Coffee Co, 768 Sansome Street, San Francisco @reveillecoffee
May 13th, 2013 — Reviews
This post appeared on SF Foodie today: San Francisco’s Top Five Coffee Shops
We’ve been to all those listed, some several times in fact. I like the reviewers scene-setting at the start, what he’s looking for in a great coffee/coffee shop. The only slightly dodgy candidate is Cafe Trieste – we’ve been there a couple of times but I think the coffee is made too hurriedly so the taste is not up to it.
Here are my previous reviews on 4 of the 5 listed:
Currently we’re drinking Reveille Coffee from their truck just around the corner from work which I’d put in the top 5 today, and of course we spent the last year drinking from Elite Audio Cafe before our office moved.
February 23rd, 2013 — Reviews
We stayed on the Viaduct in Auckland when we were there for Xerocon this year. No chance of good coffee in that area! I knew Espresso Workshop was a 20 minute walk away in Britomart, we’d been there on our last trip, however when looking up their opening hours I spotted that they had a cafe in Parnell as well – quite close to our new office in fact!
First day in the office and we started the 11am coffee walk tradition – didn’t realize it was up such a huge hill in the heat though! However, I rated my chances better than the Italian restaurant downstairs.
The cafe is on a small street parallel to Parnell Rise so quite handy if you know where it is. The cafe was quite cool, a little cabinet of food, the roasting equipment, a pour over bar and machine.
The coffee was OK but not that great, too weak. But I wasn’t that surprised, Auckland doesn’t always deliver the best. Great little carrot cakes though!
We went back each day we worked in the office, even took Deborah from the US office coffee group one day
Espresso Workshop, 19 Falcon Street, Parnell, Auckland @EspressoWrkshop
February 23rd, 2013 — Reviews
Imagine my surprise when I bumped into an old colleague on the way back to our Viaduct hotel (Sofitel) and she told me that in the foyer of the Vodafone office building that was right across the street from the hotel was the latest Mojo.
Open nice and early for office workers so that became our breakfast spot while in Auckland for Xerocon. They did table service for breakfast which was pretty quick despite how busy they always were at the start of the day – 2 lines of early morning coffee drinkers. They also had homemade grain bread which made very nice toast for my butter (needed more though!) and peanut butter. Coffee (flat white) was fairly decent and strong too – probably the best I’ve had in Auckland.
Mojo, Vodafone Building, 20 Viaduct Harbour Ave, Auckland @mojocoffeenz
February 2nd, 2013 — Reviews
A taste of San Francisco home at this fantastically located new Blue Bottle in the bottom of the Rockefeller Center. No longer when shopping on 5th Ave at the Saks end do you have to worry about where your next cup of coffee is going to come from! Located handily between the ice-skating rink and the ladies’ loos it is all the Blue Bottle goodness you’ve come to expect if you’re from San Francisco. Nondescript entrance (in keeping with the concourse), glass cabinet with some snack food, pour over bar and La Marzocco espresso machine. Great find! Oh, if you’re at the other end of the 5th Ave shops, the Apple/Bergdof end, then head along West 58th, almost to Avenue of the Americas to Fika (review of the Park Ave 28th Street cafe).
Blue Bottle Coffee Co, Rockefeller Center Concourse Level, New York
December 23rd, 2012 — Reviews
Today we braved the most treacherous weather, taking on high winds and rain that meant terrible visibility on the freeways to go out the East Bay for a bit of a Christmas brunch with Bevan. We saw a car flipped onto it’s roof on the freeway on the way back Slow down people!!
We went to a rather quaint little town called Danville, but didn’t get to look around because it was just a dash from the car in the rain to the cafe and then back out again. The place was really popular, packed and steaming, so we ended up sitting out on the deck, luckily just out of reach of water slicks gushing off the nearby umbrellas every time the wind blew. Heaters and a basket of blankets kept us nice and warm.
It was close enough to lunch by the time we got there that I ordered a poached egg on toast and the boys had French toast and scrambled eggs. I’m pleased to report that I got exactly what the menu said – one piece of toast and one (perfectly) poached egg – a perfect brunch and a perfect size for me – only improvement would’ve been butter but at least there was no salad, salsa, flowers, sauce or runny bits. I had a brief look inside the cafe and there was a cabinet staked with freshly baked scones, cinnamon rolls and other goodies. We’d seen on their website that they served Blue Bottle Coffee so that was a bonus! The coffee looked reasonable when it arrived – the milk wasn’t super-thick and the first mouthful was a little off, tasted a little stale like the machine wasn’t as clean as it could be but after a stir and a couple more mouthfuls it tasted pretty good!
A really nice spot despite the rain.
Sideboard Neighborhood Kitchen & Coffee Bar, 411 Hartz Avenue, Danville, CA
December 15th, 2012 — Reviews
One cool November day I was working at home, drizzle was threatening and I didn’t think I’d have time to get down to the Ferry Building for a coffee. But I thought I’d try – and if the drizzle or rain did come, I thought I’d stop off at Curbside Coffee, a truck I’d seen parked on Spear Street during a week day once before. Food trucks are a San Francisco staple so I did hold a glimmer of hope that the coffee would be drinkable. And it did have a table of condiments, social media badges, an actual coffee machine and white cups with a hand stamped logo.
There were a few people milling around and regulars who didn’t need to order because the barista knew them.
I should’ve trudged on through the rain (yes, by the time I got there drizzle was turning to rain) to the Ferry Building. They didn’t have 8oz cups – if only I’d been able to spot that without having to ask then being stuck in that awkward situation when they said no … a turmoil trying to summon the courage to exclaim ‘What?! How can you make me a proper cappuccino then? Just forget it” but instead being too embarrassed, knowing that you’re not actually desperate enough for any old coffee to drink theirs and the drip at home is better, but instead saying “OK, I’ll have a latte please.” Eyeroll. So that’s what I got. A giant mug-o-searing watery latte which I had 2 sips out of when it had finally cooled after 3 blocks but carried all the way home (because I like carrying coffee (makes me feel all bouncy and famous like Ally McBeal)) only to tip it down the sink and make myself a drip coffee. I’ve since read on Yelp that Vietnamese iced coffee is the drink of choice for regulars and they rate it pretty highly.
Shame their Twitter account is nothing more than a stream of dates they’ll be closed.
Curbside Coffee, 298 Spear St, San Francisco @curbsidesf
October 31st, 2012 — Reviews
This place always shows up on maps of good coffee near our apartment but we never get a chance to go because it’s only open week days, office hours. It’s part way along an alley that runs behind a main street – you have to step over a few homeless people and walk beside a building site and there it is, just a little cubby hole.
They use Blue Bottle coffee and definitely make it Blue Bottle Ferry Building-style – great strong flavor and thick milk, although a little bubbly.
Lucky people who work in office buildings around here! Cash only and service was quick. And I think a quicker round trip that the Ferry Building on working-at-home days.
Special Xtra, 46 Minna St (between 2nd St & Shaw Aly), San Francisco
October 11th, 2012 — Reviews
Anyone with a banner image like this on their website is probably serious about coffee. There’s something about this image that just fills me with heart-flushing joy!
And in the bitter cold of Denver last week the snugly warm Metropolis cafes and warming cappuccinos were a glimmer of joy! We had 2 coffees in Denver and both were at different cafes owned by the same people.
Our first visit for breakfast required a bus ride about 15 minutes out of town and a walk of 5 or 10 minutes, into a city residential area – the cafe was in the bottom of an apartment building.
The place was crowded, jam-packed with people working and having meetings (9.30am) so we had to share a table for 4 that just one guy was working at. The cappuccino tasted great after not having one for a couple of days after drinking our own drip coffee on the train – the nice chocolatey/malty flavor we like.
And the cafe was pretty orange inside too so we tried to stay as long as possible although had to get back to the city to meet M&F-I-L.
After lunch we took our chances on the warmest part of the day to head just out the other side of the city centre to another Metropolis, in the bottom of another apartment building so it turned out!
This place was much quieter, not been around as long I don’t think so the 4 of us were able to get a table to sit and chat a while. Another great cup of coffee, perhaps a smidgen weaker but lovely and velvety, and an excellent hot chocolate as reported by M-I-L.
Metropolis Coffee – 300 West 11th Avenue & 1661 Central Street
September 28th, 2012 — Reviews
This was an obligatory stop – the original and who knows, the start of the coffee movement in London perhaps! There were Kiwi accents everywhere! Lots of people were coming in and high-fiving the baristas or stopping for a chat. “Howare-ya?!” Times have changed – 20 years ago when I did my OE young Kiwis came to London to pull beer and catch up with each other in bars – replace beer with coffee and denim jackets with checkered shirts!
Flat white was certainly a hipster joint with fresh made sandwiches, a plate of brownies, a jar of cookies and seating for 20 but 40 were crammed into the corners and standing in the doorway trying to get out of the rain for a coffee.
We were here for lunch so we sat on the magazines in the window and persevered until a table opened up. Luckily the sandwiches we’d ordered took a while to make so we were seated by the time they got to us. A guy was up in a little galley making them and they were great – decent slab of crusty white bread with ham and cheese, no mustard.
We sat next to some coffee peeps – if there was ever was a time to strut your coffee knowledge, this original example of good coffee would be the place to send your long black back because you thought it was a bad extraction! Yes, it happened right next to us.
So to the coffee. My god they know how to make a flat white and so they should. Definitely a New Zealand-style flat white – hot, small and strong. And the homemade shrewsberry was pretty good too!
This place definitely lives up to its reputation and was almost too cool for us. The barista was moody & slightly disheveled – wouldn’t look out of place in a swanny I reckon! The only downside was, again, smoke from the bench seat outside – seems so many people still smoke in London.
Flat White, 17 Berwick Street, Soho