Lulu Carpenter's

Overall Rating: 7.700

Address: 1545 Pacific Ave.
Cross Street(s): Near Water/Mission Sts.
City, State ZIP: Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: 831.429.9804
Hours: Su-Sa 6am-12am
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.40
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Coffee Cat
Cup Manufacturer: ACF
Price: $1.85
Last Update: 10/11/2009
First Reviewed: 10/11/2009
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

We first got to know this location as the Espresso Royale Caffe dating back to the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. However, it was originally known as Lulu Carpenter's saloon among the old-timers, and Manthri Srinath's café opening here (with the building retrofit) now pays homage to its original name. Over the years, the ownership change also lead to a much greater attention to the quality of the espresso here: what was easily forgettable is now notable. Gone are the plants that once gave this café the look and feel of an old library study in the midst of a jungle foliage invasion. In its place is a (still) darker interior with sunlight beaming through the rear windows by most of the seating. The brick walls remain, however, as does the sidewalk patio out front. They pull shots from a multi-group Linea with a deep, dark, thinner layer of crema. Like Lulu's at the Octagon, the body isn't terribly strong, but it seems to have more of a tobacco flavor here than at the Octagon.