Model Bakery, The

Overall Rating: 6.500


Address: 644 First St.
Cross Street(s): Along McKinstry St., outside the Oxbow Market
City, State ZIP: Napa, CA 94559
Neighborhood:
Phone: 707.259.1128
Hours: M-F 6:30am-6:30pm; Sa 7am-6:30pm; Su 7am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 5.20
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 3
Presentation: 2
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.80
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: S
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Paper
Price: $1.50
Last Update: 04/27/2013
First Reviewed: 08/23/2008
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
This no-frills bakery is a sister to the St. Helena mothership that has been operating for over 80 years. There is no indoor seating, but there are outdoor benches and parasols in front - just around the corner from main building of the Oxbow Market. Obviously, breads and baked goods are the big thing here. They once used a two-group Grimac La Valentina La Vittoria on their supply of Peet's Coffee. They later upgraded to a two-group La Marzocco Linea and Caffé Vita beans (making it one of the few places in the entire Bay Area we've seen to offer them). In a blow to regional roaster diversity, in 2013 they announced they couldn't keep up with the import costs from Seattle and were switching to Blue Bottle Coffee, which is what they serve now. The results were actually quite good with their Peet's setup, but they are even better now. The resulting shot has an even layer of medium brown crema (which was more of a swirl of a thicker layer with Vita beans), and the once-large pour sizes have fortunately become smaller. It is still sadly served primarily in paper cups, but the shot is served short and potent in the cup with a body to match and a flavor of brighter fruit. (With Vita, they offered more herbal pungency, some smoke, and molasses.) Brown ACF cups are now available for cappuccino-sized drinks, but even asking "for here" at the order counter doesn't guarantee they'll get your order right. The staff may not seem overly comfortable in their coffee-making, but the results deliver. Milk-frothing here is not only decent, but when combined with the milk-friendlier Vita roasts of before, the cappuccino flavor here beat out the ones poured at the nearby Ritual (even if Ritual's foam is smoothly integrated into the cup). With Blue Bottle beans, the milk-espresso contrast is less dramatic.