Overall Rating: 6.950

Address: 481 Lighthouse Ave.
Cross Street(s): 13th St.
City, State ZIP: Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: 831.375.1300
Hours: M-W 7am-4pm; Th-Su 7am-9pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Nuova Simonelli
Coffee Rating: 6.90
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: -0.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Verve Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: China Ceramic
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 03/15/2014
First Reviewed: 10/06/2012
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Katie, the one-time owner of Lighthouse Coffee across the street, sold off her share in 2012 so that it could transform into a fully-owned Carmel Valley Roasting Company outlet. Meanwhile, she picked up this small wine-bar-like space at the lowest street level of a Victorian home to start her new coffeehouse and small eatery -- with the "Peacock Room" upstairs for lounging and edibles. There's a small sidewalk café table in front. The downstairs is dominated by a large bar with wood floors and small tables. Katie swore by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasters as her favorite, and she opened up serving their beans. Something in the previous Lighthouse Coffee situation must have changed things, because by 2014 they were serving Verve Coffee Roasters instead. Here they use a two-group Nuova Simonelli at the bar to pull shots of espresso that are served extremely large. The small cappuccino is huge: small sizes get two shots of espresso and large sizes get three. It's served in a massive cup from Cost Plus. The resulting shot now has a medium and darker brown crema that's a little light on thickness. The flavor is less pungent with the beans switch: no more bordering tobacco smoke and instead showing a small spectrum of mild spices that's a little limited in its depth of flavor. Kind of surprising for Verve, as the coffee switch did not improve the end product at all here. But despite its gargantuan serving sizes, the coffee is decent -- as is the milk-frothing.