Sunday, May 04, 2008


The Best Cappuccino I've Had in a While

So I went camping in the Sierras this weekend (lovely but still a little chilly), and on my way back home I stopped at Temple Fine Coffee and Tea in downtown Sacramento and had one of the best cappuccinos I've had in a good long while.

(OK, actually, I judged at the Western Regional Barista Competition in late March, and I had some good ones there. The blog entry on that experience is still forthcoming, with all my usual blogging urgency. So let's say that this capp at Temple was the best one I've had in an actual coffee shop in a good long while.)

When I ordered, I was offered the choice between two espressos - a blend called Element 114 and a single origin Ethiopian coffee called Ghimbi, both roasted by Barefoot in Santa Clara. I chose the Ghimbi, and WOW. The cappuccino was basically delicious burnt caramel in a cup. And the milk was frothed to perfection - ideal temperature, ideal texture. I think I literally smacked my lips. It had the flavor of the crackly part of a creme brulee.

The experience also ran contrary to one of my pet theories, which is that it can be hard to get a top-notch cappuccino if you go at kind of an off-hour. I've had the experience dozens of times of going to a supposedly-wonderful shop that is home to championship barista or two and getting a cappuccino that is (let's be frank) kind of crappy, because I don't happen to be there during coffee prime time (i.e., a weekday morning). So the people working behind the bar are kind of the bench warmer baristas, and you can taste it. But I was at Temple at 4 pm on a Sunday. Honestly, I was expecting the D Team to be behind the bar. But it was still a gorgeous, perfectly-made drink. For the first time in many months, I am impressed.

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Hi, Gabriele, from Italy. I had recently had a wonderful cappuccino made with Ethiopian Sidamo coffee. This coffee is, for me so velvety and spiced and I have found all these flavours in the cappuccino. The barista suggested me to put just a few few sugar in it. Perfect! The bar is in the very center of Florence. It is part of the Italian chain Chiaroscuro.
Next time your in the area stop by JavaJ in Roseville, CA. We are on and we will make you a amazing cappuccino.
oh my gosh, i totally identify with your search... i am on an endless one myself. unfortunately, i have a minor setback. since i am a vegan, i am looking for the perfect soy latte and soy cappuccino. the sad thing is that sooo many baristas don't know how to microfoam soy...but it can be done! i also know some purist people don't think you can make a traditional cappuccino with soy milk -- but i still continue my search nonetheless!!! all i'm looking for is the very best that's out there.
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