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M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
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MarshallF
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MarshallF
Joined: 1 Jun 2003
Posts: 809
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: LM GS/3 MP
Grinder: Mahlkonig ProM; Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario Nouveau, Bodum ESantos
Drip: Clever Dripper
Posted Sun Feb 22, 2009, 4:48pm
Subject: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

Whenever I hear about a promising coffee shop in L.A., I like to try it out. This goes double, if it’s anywhere near my neighborhood.

So, off I went today to M Street Coffee at 13251 Moorpark (“M St.,” get it?) in Sherman Oaks. It’s at the corner of Longridge, near Fulton.

M St. is using organic coffees from Supreme Bean in North Hollywood and currently features their excellent Volcan blend for espresso. Espressos are served in proper Italian demitasse cups. I introduced myself to Kate, a cheery barista from Portland and ordered an espresso straight up, which is the only way to judge a shop’s espresso quality.

First a few words about M St.’s setup. The shop is very attractive and inviting, with comfortable furniture and photography for sale. But it is clearly trying to do more with less in the equipment department. The bar work area is actually an immobilized espresso cart, with a counter level that is too high for barista comfort. So, they have made a few compromises, one of which is to use a Swift grinder.

The first shot ran about 45 seconds before the Rancilio’s flowmeter stopped it. It had a nice crema, but was predictably bitter from over-extraction. When I told Kate I had a suggestion, she already knew what I was going to say, and she offered to remake it by cutting off the flow at ristretto volume. This produced a tasty and complex 25 second shot, with all bitterness gone.

So, what is M Street? I would call it a busy, happy neighborhood coffee bar, operating far above the level of “neighborhood.” I doubt they are aspiring to be a regional coffee shrine, and don’t hold it against them for not trying. But it is certainly worth a visit if you are anywhere near the area. Just be sure to ask for a “short shot.”
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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 3, 2009, 9:43pm
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

I made it to M street coffee. Only 1/2 mile from HWY 101.

GaryH: Mstreet-coffee1a.jpg
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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 3, 2009, 9:43pm
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

Nice neighborhood coffee bar.

GaryH: Mstreet-coffee2a.jpg
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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 3, 2009, 9:44pm
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

Cool coffee table.

GaryH: Mstreet-coffee3a.jpg
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GaryH
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GaryH
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 2,530
Location: San Jose California
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro
Grinder: Macap M4 Doserless
Vac Pot: none
Drip: yes
Roaster: none
Posted Mon Aug 3, 2009, 9:44pm
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

I had this double espresso pulled with Supreme Bean Volcan blend. Unfortunately the main flavor was carbon. I've had very good Supreme Bean espressos at other coffee houses, so this experience was unexpected and disappointing.

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Strad
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Joined: 4 Aug 2004
Posts: 27
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 28, 2012, 10:53am
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

I went to M Street a couple of weeks ago to try it. I was very disappointed. The Cap was bitter and seemed gritty. I know the Supreme Bean coffees - I've been buying them for 10 years plus. This is a very attractive neighborhood coffee spot. I wanted to like it, but the the coffee was not up to par.
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Strad
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Joined: 4 Aug 2004
Posts: 27
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 20, 2013, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

I had a similar experience here. A mediocre shot pulled from good product. This place has a great location, good hardware, good beans, but desperately needs barista training.
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the_coffee_nazi
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the_coffee_nazi
Joined: 18 Jul 2007
Posts: 67
Location: Visalia, CA
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Espresso: Vivaldi II
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Posted Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:55pm
Subject: Re: M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks
 

mediocre experience here as well. I get really bummed when a place with great potential has a great machine, good beans a great grinder, and the only thing standing between me and a great cup of coffee is poorly trained baristas....

 
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