Barrelista

Overall Rating: 7.300


Address: 736 Main St.
Cross Street(s): Ferry St.
City, State ZIP: Martinez, CA 94553
Neighborhood:
Phone: 415.791.6562
Hours: M 7am-2pm; Tu-F 6:30am-5pm; Sa 7am-5pm; Su 8am-2pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.60
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 7
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Four Barrel Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: China Ceramic
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 12/26/2014
First Reviewed: 12/26/2014
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
Formerly a coffeeshop named Legal Grounds, this downtown Martinez corner coffee house was opened in February 2014 by the owners of the popular Barrel Aged bar/restaurant across the street. The place has a funky, independent coffeeshop vibe - but without being run-down, cheap, and skanky as is the case with many less-than-urban independents. There are a couple of benches for seating outside in front on a Main St. parklet. Otherwise, inside it's a cozy spot with a lot of decorative, unique tables and chairs. It's not as stuffy as a downtown Martinez antiques shop, but it's much nicer than your typical thrift store. There are mirrored walls, an old bicycle on the wall, and even a shiny metal National cash register at the service counter. A collection of board games keeps some of the locals occupied. They sell panini, pastries, and sweets in addition to their coffee, which comes from Four Barrel (they also sell their beans retail). Using a two-group La Marzocco Linea at the side of the service area, they pull shots with an even, medium brown crema of little detailed texture but yet good thickness. It's a modest pour, and it has some of the characteristic Four Barrel brightness but without it being overwhelming. There's a pleasant roundness to the cup - a fuller mouthfeel accompanied by a decent blend of flavors from herbal pungency to mild spices and cinnamon to some apple-like acidity on the finish. Served in multi-colored Cost Plus World Market cups and saucers. The milk-frothing here is a bit wet and restrained, and yet their cappuccino runs very milky here - like a latte. They also do a decent job of trying their hand at latte art.