French Press, The

Overall Rating: 8.200

Address: 1101 State St.
Cross Street(s): Figueroa St.
City, State ZIP: Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805.963.2721
Hours: M-F 6am-7pm; Sa 7am-7pm; Su 8am-5pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 8.20
Barista: 8
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 8.20
Aroma: 9
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Chocolate-like
Coffee Beans: Verve Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: ACF
Price: $2.25
Last Update: 07/17/2011
First Reviewed: 07/17/2011
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Opening in 2009, this Upper State coffeehouse puts most others in Santa Barbara County to shame. (This says as much about the county as it does about the quality here.) A sort of hang-out for the biking set, you can recognize this café by the gathering of young people on the sidewalk in front. They offer a few outdoor café tables and chairs under the entryway, but much of the seating is inside - zinc-topped café tables located along and past a long hallway of artwork that runs along the service area. The service area itself is decorated with painted art skateboards. Using a shiny two-group La Marzocco GB/5 and Mazzer grinders, they pull shots of Verve (Sermon and other blends) into black ACF cups with red saucers. It comes with a lightly mottled medium brown crema with lighter heat spots. The espresso here has the tease of a brightness bomb, but without the full-swing delivery. This results in an acidic cup with some balance coming from the chocolate and pungent spice end. They're also notable at milk-frothing: it's deliberate and not overly abundant. Their caffè macchiato has a great chocolate flavor with substantial milk density. And of course, they also serve their namesake French press coffee. All towns should aspire to have at least one coffee place this good.