Coupa Café

Overall Rating: 7.700

Address: 538 Ramona St.
Cross Street(s): Hamilton Ave.
City, State ZIP: Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 650.322.6872
Hours: M-Su 7am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 7
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: UNIC
Coffee Rating: 7.90
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 7
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Coupa Café
Cup Manufacturer: Victoria Porcelain Co.
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 09/19/2013
First Reviewed: 02/17/2007
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

This unusual café is unique for serving single estate coffees from Venezuela. They obtain their beans from the Arabica Coffee Company in Caracas and run cafés here and in Beverly Hills. They have a restaurant-sized café space - with large patio seating in front, seating in the back before a fireplace and under a glass skylight, and inside seating along the main service area decorated with black & white photos of Venezuelan coffee estates. They sell Venezuelan chocolates, lunch items, and plenty of coffee. They even offer a 'ristretto' on the menu (reviewed here). Using a three-group UNIC Zi, they pull a shot with a mild aroma and a medium brown crema of lighter thickness with a chance of striping. There's occasionally a sharp pungency to the flavor that you might expect from a single estate espresso, but it's not terribly potent for a ristretto. At times in the past, it's been much more muted: at their worst, the espresso is a little one dimensional and flat, albeit fresh. But the shots more recently tend to be short, tobacco-and-pungency-heavy, and with a sturdy body. They are fairly good milk frothing as well - it tends to be dry, yet a strong coffee flavor comes through in their cappuccino (you can taste the coffee instead of just milk): major, major bonus points for what they can do with a cappuccino: it's one of our favorites on the Peninsula. There's a V-60 pour-over bar as well.