Where: 1101 State St., 963-2721.
What: Consistent with its name, the French Press crafts rich coffee and espresso drinks while also providing a unique selection of un-caffeinated beverages.
How Much: $3-$5 for coffee, depending on make and size.
The Dish: Santa Barbara’s newest locally owned espresso bar opened in late 2009 on the corner of State and Figueroa streets. A La Marzocco espresso machine invigorates the richness of Santa Cruz-sourced beans and steams a frothed creamy dollop or foam layer atop your beverage. Coffee aficionados will tell you that it is the shop’s attention to detail that garners its following. Fresh beans ground to order, the best equipment, homemade whipped cream, and artful latte craftsmanship have bean devotees in Santa Barbara waiting patiently in line for their drink or sitting at a table sipping out of a colorful ceramic cup and saucer. Also try the cinnamon-spiced apple cider or the citrusy steamed lemonade with fresh mint leaves. Freshly baked blueberry buckles are also known to make a regular appearance in the pastry case. There is plenty of seating indoors and out (on both State and Figueroa entrances) to sip and browse the Internet using the free Wi-Fi.