Belano is a gem sitting on the otherwise endless and busy Steven’s Creek, which has about 100 shopping centers you could pass by without taking notice. This shop was recommended to me by my buddy Josh since he used to run their account. My prior experiences with San Jose coffee on Steven’s Creek have been mixed and though I am now a B+S regular, I really wanted to check this place out.
Right after we walked in, I could tell this was something special. The store is very open, bright, and comfortable with great decor. The barista was super friendly from the second we walked in and it was nice to know they welcomed my review and wished Josh well. They use a Strada and all the other top of the line stuff, Verve Street Level Espresso, and have a killer dinosaur mascot on their merch. It did feel a bit like Verve with the ultra modern/Ikea look and the espresso equipment retail section, but it has its own unique vibe and flair that definitely sets it apart with some good character; clean, inviting, and modern.
Beyond a great layout, they had excellent service. Both baristas were very personable and knew a lot about their products. I did not have to ask about what I was getting, the barista simply said, “well we’re glad you stopped in, today you get to enjoy some Street Level espresso.” They didn’t call our drinks out but instead the other barista walked them out to us to make sure we got them fresh. Very professional. Customer service is something that many other third wave shops tend to overlook or for whatever reason seem to flat out ignore. These guys were on point.
The caps looked fantastic. It can be a little offputting when you shell out $3.50 for an 8oz cap and it looks a little funky, but Belano doesn’t disappoint. Someone obviously trained these guys very well because the flavor and texture of the milk were great. I am sure we have all been there; you walk into a restaurant, see a picture of something that looks super tastey, and when it gets placed in front of you, you get bummed out because it looks nothing like the picture and it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it looked. Well, the opposite is true of Belano’s caps. The temperature was great, the Street Level was done very well (I am always impressed by how well other third wave shops do with sourced espresso beans), and though it was a little too milky for me, the flavor profile exceeded my expectations. It was not super rich nor particularly unique flavor-wise, but it was very well balanced and well done.
After we finished, I had a little chat with the barista who made sure we enjoyed our drinks, and then enjoyed a game of Go on the couch. I really liked that about this shop, it wasn’t homey in a run down, broken-in kind of way, but rather it is designed so you can lounge, work, or chat in comfort without feeling rushed or in the way. We probably could have spent a few hours hanging out doing whatever and we would have felt completely welcome. Great job guys, thanks for an overall great experience and delicious cap.
- Professionalism and customer service
- The home-ness
- An overall well balanced drink.
Santa Clara, CA 95051