Bright Coffee

Overall Rating: 8.400

Address: 281 Lighthouse Ave.
Cross Street(s): Inside Lilify btwn Reeside & Dickman Aves.
City, State ZIP: Monterey, CA 93940
Phone: None
Hours: M-Sa 6:30am-5pm; Su 8am-1pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 8.50
Barista: 9
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 9
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: La San Marco
Coffee Rating: 8.30
Aroma: 9
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Candy-like
Coffee Beans: Kuma Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: U.S. Ceramic
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 01/09/2016
First Reviewed: 07/25/2015
Notes: Coffee Sales

Cameron Davies started this small roaster/café in 2013 and it changed the face of Monterey's coffee culture. They used to roast locally with a Deidrich IR-7, they got into fights with the local zoning codes, and out of frustration in the summer of 2015 Cameron tried to set up their roasting in Longview, WA to be run by her parents. By December 2015 Bright was sold to Brandi Lamb, the owner of Monterey's best coffee shop otherwise: Café Lumiere. Even with the ownership change, they still work with West Coast roasters like Kuma that don't require much equipment adjustment for the café's roast profile style (Cameron liked Portland's Heart and Sterling roasters and she also liked to let roasts gas out for weeks). Their two-group lever La San Marco Leva is a find from Phoenix that was refurbed by Cameron's partner, Mike Zimmerer, into something far more decorative (but still operating like a tank) and it remains with the ownership change. It's a small café located in the artful Lilify shop along busy Lighthouse Ave. Inside they take up one side of the building with the retail space dominating the remainder. There's a lot of exposed wood, two thick wooden café tables and a lone stool for seating, and found-art-like wall hangings. The result here with Kuma Ethiopian (or East African) remains the same: a cherry bomb brightness heavy on fruit but is yet not an acid bath. There's some honey, leather, pepper, a pungent aroma, and a dark, dark crema of short coverage and modest thickness. Served in handmade ceramic cups with water on the side. The milk-frothing is OK: a little on the light side.