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January 4, 2012

Latte' Art at Crema

In 2005 Brent Fortune purchased a bakery and created Crema Coffee & Bakery.  Crema now is known as an anchor shop for the ever-developing 28th street scene, just a block off Burnside.  It’s a beautiful space, with high ceilings, lots of light, and the garage-door-we-can-open-on-sunny-days thing.  Their pastries are fantastic, but as always, the question for me is related to the coffee.

I’ve visited Crema several times, and usually have a decent experience.  But I don’t usually have a great experience.  Crema serves Stumptown Coffee and obviously knows what they’re doing.  The baristas are nice enough.  The coffee is good enough.  The presentation is usually the thing that is a notch above.  But all in all, you can tell I just don’t love-love-love Crema.  On one visit I asked what espressos were available and the barista actually didn’t know.  On another visit I had a drink that was barely passable (again, USUALLY it is good, but this planted a doubt about consistency in my snotty, critical mind).  I have heard that Brent has actually sold the business, so maybe that’s the deal.  And believe me, I am sensitive to the challenges of maintaining stellar consistency with an ever-rotating staff of rock-star baristas, many of whom think they already know everything and can’t be taught anything.  But I guess I would sum Crema up thusly:  If you live in this neighborhood you are dang lucky and should be thrilled to have a cafe’ the caliber of Crema right up in your espresso-lickin’ face.  If you don’t live here, you probably aren’t going to drive across town to visit.  Crema is good.  But it’s not that good.

Breakfast with the girls at Crema

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