Spasso Coffeehouse

Overall Rating: 5.100

Address: 6021 College Ave.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Armanino Ct. & Harwood Ave.
City, State ZIP: Oakland, CA 94618
Neighborhood: Rockridge
Phone: 510.428.1818
Hours: M-F 7am-7:30pm; Sa-Su 7:30am-7:30pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 6.00
Barista: 6
Savvy: 5
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Promac
Coffee Rating: 4.20
Aroma: 4
Body: 4
Brightness: 4
Crema: 6
Flavor: 3
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Sour
Coffee Beans: Tony's Coffee & Teas
Cup Manufacturer: China Ceramic
Price: $1.75
Last Update: 02/02/2009
First Reviewed: 02/02/2009
Notes: Temperature Control Problems; Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

This is the kind of coffee shop that only seems to thrive near a university. A more spacious café than some of its espresso-serving neighbors along College Ave., there are a couple of sidewalk café tables in front, some limited table seating in front at the entrance, and a large rear area with a colorful coffee-growers mural, decorative burlap coffee bags, skylights, and many small café tables and studious people at laptops. Did we mention laptops? Free Wi-Fi is the name of the game here, so it's like flies to a bug lamp. The locals seem to know this and only order bigger mugs of filter coffee that they nurse for hours on end. So of course, we order the espresso. They use Tony's Coffee, which they sell on site and bill heavily as "Fair Trade/Organic" as required by the locals. Using a two-group Promac, they pull a short shot with an even, thinner, medium brown crema that dissipates quickly. It's watery and light, and really quite sour actually - something we believe can be traced back to a rather tepid brewing temperature. So unfortunately, we couldn't taste much of any earthiness nor pepper nor pungency beyond the sourness: it was that strong. Time to tune the machine, folks.