They come and they go

The downtown La Boulanger bakery and coffee shop has closed.

The downtown La Boulanger bakery and coffee shop has closed.

Just a couple of weeks after I wrote about the opening of Caffe Trieste, and the overall improvement in the availability of good coffee in downtown San Jose, two of the local coffee outlets seem to have closed. The first one I noticed was La Boulanger on Market St., near San Fernando. La Boulanger’s coffee wasn’t quite to the level of Peet’s or Trieste’s, but if you wanted a pastry or sandwich with your coffee, La Boulanger wasn’t a bad choice.

eMocha cafe is another casualty among downtown coffee shops.

eMocha cafe is another casualty among downtown coffee shops.

Second, just today I saw a sign in the window of eMocha cafe, or maybe it was called Backdoor Espresso (they couldn’t seem to make that clear), indicating they’re “closed for now.” Hopefully that means they’re just cleaning up the decor, or rejigging the financing, and they’ll be back soon. For coffee made with obsessive attention to detail, eMocha, or maybe “Backdoor Espresso”, was the place downtown for a couple of months anyway.

On the positive side, I recently tried the relatively new Crema cafe on the Alameda, just a few blocks from downtown. The coffee was good, and the place is huge, with lots of indoor and outdoor tables. Stop in some time and check it out.

2 Comments so far

  1. jills on September 10th, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

    It is such a shame we don’t have more, decent coffee shops here in SJ, that actually use FRESH beans, grind to order & don’t use an automatic espresso machine.

    The drinks made at Starbucks and similar places aren’t really coffee drinks IMO. (would you like some coffee with your sugar lol?). You might as well be drinking a hot chocolate. I honestly think if most people tried a perfectly extracted espressso – by a skilled barista and of course FRESH beans – they would lose their craving for a SBUX flavored latte. (not to mention it’s more calorie friendly).

    If you want a great espresso definitely check out Barefoot, over in Santa Clara off Lawrence Expy. (I’m in no way affliated with them BTW!).
    The only problem with that place is the decor is not exactly nice. But, if you just want espresso go there.

    I rarely go out for coffee anymore. I have all the coffee gear at home now -semi-pro Italian espresso machine, burr grinder & now roast my own beans-so I make better espresso than most coffeehouses.


  2. Matt Bruensteiner (thephoton) on September 11th, 2008 @ 11:28 am

    Jills,

    Definitely agree with you about most of Starbuck’s "branded" drinks — not worth my time. But if they’re the only thing around, I’m not too picky to go in for an espresso macchiato or americano (take your "grande" in a "tall" cup for more flavor).

    Lots of people like Barefoot Coffee, and they do take their coffee seriously. Unfortunately I find that their roasts have a flavor that tastes unpleasant and sour to me. This is true of every variety I’ve tried from them, and since I work within walking distance I gave them a bunch of tries before I decided I just don’t agree with them about what makes a good flavor in coffee. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s on Steven’s Creek just east of Lawrence, and worth a visit if you haven’t been there.



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