I have been looking forward to coming to this place for a long time. The owner Julia used to be the manager of the company I work for up in Santa Cruz. I was really excited to say hi and thank her for all her hard work putting up with this and that back home. A lot of locals in SC told me to come down here specifically. I planned my trip down south to revolve around coming here, so yes, I built it up.
I walked in, and it is like I am back home, visiting the Verve. Same espresso, similar feel, similar baristas. Pretty stoked, get the standard cap like I always do so I can get a good feel for the barista’s techniques and the flavor of their espresso.
The cashier was nice, enough, but she did not really seem interested in chatting. Probably because it was close to closing time, I know how it is, so no worries.
I have had many caps from Verve and the FP’s baristas are trained there. I was really surprised. No offense to the barista, he had just come back from the South West regionals (I saw him compete there), and he was a really nice guy, but the portioning of milk to espresso was off, and even for verve espresso, it was extremely… not even sour. It was like, almost chemically. I am not even sure how you get that flavor (and I do tons of blends and single origins every day at work on the Mistral). The milk was good, a little warm, but great texture. I won’t get into the aesthetics of the drink, that is just being nit picky. But, honestly, I was underwhelmed and I walked in overly critical of the place since it has come so highly recommended.
Now, since I work in coffee, I am rating an “elite” coffee shop among other elites, so vs. your standard Bunn/rancillo/don’t know what a bottomless portafilter is shop this place gets beyond a 5 star. However, especially seeing as they had to remind me that they were back from the Regionals and had signs up showcasing this marked level of skill, I was, sad to say, underwhelmed. Service and quality are musts at a coffee shop and they kind of fumbled on both counts on this particular trip. I was told that they used to put out a superior product over Verve, I guess I will have to visit them again.
- The location and atmosphere
- The familiarity of the shop because of its ties to Santa Cruz
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
- Mon-Fri 6 am – 7 pm
- Sat 7 am – 7 pm
- Sun 8 am – 7 pm