Zendo Coffee

Overall Rating: 7.500

Address: 413 2nd St. SW
Cross Street(s): Btwn Lead & Coal Aves. SW
City, State ZIP: Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505.926.1636
Hours: Su-Sa 7am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 7
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Victoria Arduino
Coffee Rating: 7.50
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Zendo Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: U.S. Ceramic
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 03/15/2016
First Reviewed: 03/15/2016
Notes: Coffee Sales

This art café is located where downtown Albuquerque gets more industrial the further south you get. Opened by Trevor Lucero, a self-proclaimed "coffee guy", in June 2013, this 1,000-sq-ft space and 600-sq-ft outdoor covered patio serves as much as a community gathering space as it does a coffee bar or art space. There's a short, wooden high counter with stools at the front windows. The white-painted brick wall in the rear is adorned with color photographs. Larger wooden block tables and a bench scatter about in the in-between spaces for contemplating with headphones or laptops under a white-painted wood ceiling. The place (named for a sort of supposed zen-like state of the space) is heavy with locals -- it seems heavily frequented by a younger, more female clientele who take to eating take-out lunches at the bar stools and conversing with friends for the day with no indication that they do much of anything professionally besides that. Mr. Lucero bought a three-group manual Victoria Arduino Athena Classic for $6k used at the bar. Zendo originally relied on independent roasters but has since started roasting their own further down 2nd Street, though they do feature a rotation of guest roasters (Denver's Boxcar was featured on my visit). Using the Zendo Espresso blend, they pulled a shot with an medium brown, even crema with lighter heat spots from the spouts. It tastes of an edge of tobacco over more spices and herbal pungency. Good, but there are noticeable flaws. Served on a custom wooden block with even a spoon holder as well as sparkling water - like you do in ABQ - in a World Market China cup with no saucer. Cheap at $2 though. And like a number of ABQ places, they offer their own inventive coffee drinks - except here they go a bit crazy with it: the London Fog, the Sweet Bonnie, the Maroccino, the Golden, the Regis, Red Cappuccino, Lapsang Latte, etc.