21 April, 2016
Black Spring Coffee CompanyPosted in : Coffee in Oakland, CA, Coffee Shops on by : The Gourmez
I’ve stopped in to take a break at this coffee shop a number of times now, on my way to some errand or another downtown. The interior is sparse, a simple collection of tables and white walls, though the entrance and coffee counter greet customers with soft, mint-chip green.
It opens early (6 am) and closes late (7 pm) for this part of town. The owner, Ryan Stark, is a man after my own heart, in that he’s a lover of low-acidity coffees, a rarity these days. The shop’s favorite blend, Monsoon Medley, comes from Josuma Coffee Company in Menlo Park, whose founder, Dr. Joseph John, I had the pure pleasure of meeting back at the 2015 Atlanta Coffee Fest. John’s knowledge of coffee, especially Indian varieties, impressed me then nearly as much as his Malabar Gold Espresso pull.
Black Spring’s menu has a few fun innovations of its own.
Clever Coffee is a brewing technique that Stark has developed that combines French press and pourover. It takes a little tender loving care but provides an extra-smooth cup of joe. The Malabar is Black Spring’s iced coffee specialty, featuring two shots of espresso shaken up with a little milk and a little sugar.
For most people who don’t drink their coffee black at least half the time, I’m sure the sugar amount is just fine, but for me, it’s honestly a little too much! Regardless, it’s a beautiful drink to watch meld together in the glass. Iced americanos are also an option if you’re craving something cold. I’ve also had a delicious, if sloppy, con panna.
A con panna to guide me as I dally with sprites for a fantasy flash fiction piece. #coffee #writerslife A photo posted by Becca Gomez Farrell (@thegourmez) on
The sloppiness may have increased its appeal — all I know is I lingered happily over that espresso.
Black Spring isn’t a shop for holing up and working for the day — there is no Wifi except Xfinity hotspots, and I have yet to see more than three pastries in the display case at a time. But it’s great for productivity if you don’t have to be online, and the vibe is usually quiet with the occasional discussion providing good background noise — I chimed in on the last one I overhead when they started talking about the growing Hamiltunes singalongs in San Francisco. All in all, I think it’s a good coffee shop choice for whiling away an hour or two, whether with a laptop, book, or friend.
And maybe now that I’ve written it up, I’ll stop calling it Black Stallion instead.
Black Spring Coffee Company
2930 Telegraph Avenue
Pill Hill, Oakland
$2.50 — $5.00
Reviewed in late 2015/early 2016.