Guerilla Cafe is a restaurant that explicitly features high end coffee, utilizing professional techniques to put out quality products that are on par with many third-wave establishments. Though they are mostly a restaurant and only partly cafe, it is easy to see how coffee is an integral part of the shop’s image. It is nice to see more and more restaurants sourcing good coffee and training their staff well. Guerilla Cafe definitely cares about the product.
One way that I could see their commitment to quality was through their partnership with Blue Bottle. There is a small sign advertising Blue Bottle Coffee right in front of the store. Whether this is a stipulation of contract or their choice, it definitely drew me in. At the register, they sell retail bags and add their own Guerilla stamp. It is nice to see a little shop that has a close partnership with a good roaster; too many big bakeries and restaurants have enough money to buy “the best” equipment and beans but lack a knowledgeable, skilled, or thoroughly trained staff to meet high expectations.
I really liked the location away from the busier parts of Berkeley. It is on the north end of Shattuck past campus and downtown right near a nice residential area. Guerilla has an artsy vibe that is really personal and “neighborhood.”
The people at Guerilla are well trained. I forgot to ask, but more likely than not, they were trained by Blue Bottle (many shops send their baristas to the roaster for training). At any rate, the employees at Guerilla were very professional about coffee. Our barista was friendly, almost “too” laid back, thought this style meshed well with the “neighborhood” vibe.
The cap itself reflected Guerilla’s commitment to quality. The espresso flavor was excellent, I would not expect less from Blue Bottle. It was drinkable right away and the even temperature meant a well stratified milk. Tasty and well “mixed,” the fleeting espresso flavor made for a lighter, milky cap. It was a little bigger than I am used to (around 10 oz) , but I would venture to say it was at a level that rivaled many specialty coffee shops.
I like seeing restaurants that don’t just have coffee “in addition” to their food but instead showcase it right alongside their confections. With a good partnership and training, Guerilla delivers good coffee and could stand alone as just a coffee shop.
- The clear commitment to their partnership with Blue Bottle
- The little Linea
- Atmosphere and “neighborhood” feel
(between Lincoln St & Cedar St)
Berkeley, CA 94709
Neighborhoods: Gourmet Ghetto, North Berkeley