Happy Girl Kitchen Co.

Overall Rating: 7.150

Address: 173 Central Ave.
Cross Street(s): Dewey Ave.
City, State ZIP: Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Phone: 831.373.4475
Hours: M-Su 7:30am-5pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: La San Marco
Coffee Rating: 7.10
Aroma: 6
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Medicinal
Coffee Beans: Four Barrel Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 12/02/2017
First Reviewed: 01/24/2015
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

This spacious café opened in the Fall of 2010. Located not far from the David Ave. border with Monterey, it's a few blocks from the famed aquarium and can practically pass for Monterey. Out front along Central Ave. is a wooden parklet with a few café tables and two larger shared tables - it looks familiar to anyone from SF. Inside, along sherbet green walls, there's a longer bench with a few café tables and two larger shared tables. There are shelves and shelves and tables of merchandising for sale that have since been moved to their expansion next door: primarily jams, pickles, and baked goods. And yet most of the floorspace is dominated by the working bakery in the rear half of the shop. There's a real vegetarian vibe to the place - down to the homemade kombucha for those who love sour tea made from soiled diapers. But the coffee service - which runs later in the day than the 3pm food service hours - isn't bad here. They use a gold (formerly orange) two-group manual lever La San Marco machine, Mazzer grinders, and Four Barrel Coffee (formerly Blue Bottle) to pull modestly sized shots with an even, medium brown crema of little distinction. It's light on the aroma, and the flavor is a little bright (sort of typical for Four Barrel): some spice, some sharpness, some apple acidity. There's a decent flavor balance, but it lacks exceptionalism at just about every dimension. While Four Barrel service is a find this far south, it's not quite to the standards of some sellers. Served in classic brown Nuova Point cups. For milk-frothing, they use Clover milk and employ decorative rosettas in their latte art. Sometimes they?ll even ask how much milk you want in your macchiato (though half should not be the starting point!). They seem much better at milk-based drinks than the straight espresso here, as it is not too milky and exhibits good balance. Hence the generous correction score in their rating.