Gaylord Caffe Espresso

Overall Rating: 5.100

Address: 4150 Piedmont Ave.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 41st St. & Linda Ave.
City, State ZIP: Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: 510.658.2877
Hours: Su-Sa 6:30am-12am
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 5.00
Barista: 4
Savvy: 3
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 6
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 5.20
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 5
Crema: 3
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Gaylord Caffe Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: China Ceramic
Price: $1.75
Last Update: 04/15/2009
First Reviewed: 04/15/2009
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Locals have long raved about this indie coffee and espresso shop. The owner roasts his own, and it's been in operation since 1976. However, there is no mistaking that the espresso standards here leave a lot to be desired. There's a single bench along the front sidewalk. But inside, there's everything from a decommissioned organ and two Mrs. PacMan machines. The clientele here also skew to an odd lot: a combination of studious laptop users, high schoolers who avoid the Starbucks across 41st St., and more than a few neighborhood psychotics (one we had to avert our eyes to avoid stumbling into her boisterous conversations with herself). They offer food and fountain drinks, but it's mainly about the coffee here. Using a three-group La Spaziale, they pull their shots into odd metal cups with a minimal wisp of medium brown, splotchy crema that's otherwise little more than massive bald spots on the surface. The cup lacks aroma and potency, but it has a generally not-unpleasant earthy flavor with some notes of pungency and spices. Served in chipped Crate & Barrel China-made porcelain cups. If this place is noteworthy, it's certainly not for their namesake espresso.