Red Rock

Overall Rating: 7.600

Address: 201 Castro St.
Cross Street(s): Villa St.
City, State ZIP: Mountain View, CA 94101
Phone: 650.967.4473
Hours: M-Th 7am-10pm; F 7am-11pm; Sa 8am-11pm; Su 8am-8pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.70
Aroma: 8
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 7
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: S
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Four Barrel Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.75
Last Update: 08/28/2014
First Reviewed: 08/28/2014
Notes: Coffee Sales

This downtown Mountain View coffee bar has been around for what seems like ages. While they've upped their roasted coffee pedigree in recent years (Four Barrel in SF) and improved their barista training as well, the place suffers a bit because of what it offers. As a non-profit space, they promote a lot of good community events (there's a whiteboard at the entrance listing all of the live musical events held there) and it also serves as a little of a community arts center (particularly on the second floor above, they showcase a number of visual art pieces on exhibit). The downside is that they offer free WiFi, which actually attracts the worst kind of customer here: laptop zombies intent on camping out and exploiting a free community resource as much as possible. Fortunately there's enough seating to accommodate others who are here to drink coffee and socialize, but the upstairs in particular is a zombie apocalypse. Its interior is a bit worn-down, dusty, and dark -- with a red and black color scheme, red hanging lights, and a number of smaller café tables and chairs downstairs with more, larger tables upstairs. Since this is located in an historic stone-exterior building with wide windows overlooking the Villa St., some light does get in. They have a bar marked "Single Origin Bar" that serves single origin coffees with a dedicated three-group Synesso machine. They mostly use a three-group La Marzocco FB/80 at the corner of the bar to serve most drinks. The default blend is Friendo Blendo, but they also typically offer a single origin espresso. The shot comes with an even, medium brown crema that's a bit thin on structure. It's served short for a double shot, and it's a complete Four Barrel brightness bomb: bright herbal notes of citrus and apples and some molasses and some modest body underneath it. Served in black classic Nuova Point cups. This is not your every-day espresso, and it's almost obnoxious as some of the generally disaffected baristi who work here.