Café Bellini

Overall Rating: 6.400


Address: 865 Market St.
Cross Street(s): 5th St., in the Concourse level of the SF Shopping Centre
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.348.1075
Hours: M-Sa 9:30am-8pm; Su 11am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 6.00
Barista: 6
Savvy: 5
Ambiance: 5
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Promac
Coffee Rating: 6.80
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 6
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Lavazza
Cup Manufacturer: IPA
Price: $1.75
Last Update: 11/26/2008
First Reviewed: 11/26/2008
Notes: None

Review
A former Segafredo Express for many years, this is now part of a local "Segafoods" chain with an ownership change. Located in the deepest bowels of a downtown SF shopping mall. It's less espresso bar than its neighborhood sisters, and more counter café (sandwiches, pastries, and coffee) - with the old Segafredo-branded red & black changed to Café Bellini. As for their espresso, they heavily lay on the Lavazza branding (the coffee supply conversion also being part of the ownership change). Using a three-group Promac machine in the same location where Segafredo's La San Marco once sat (and where a customer once dented it by leaping five floors onto it, and living to tell the tale, in June 2003), they pull shots with a sweet aroma and an even blonde/brown crema of modest thickness. It has a mellower flavor of mild spices which isn't too pedestrian nor half bad - a soft Lavazza flavor. The ownership shake-up has improved the espresso standards here, and you can even get your shots "for here" in Lavazza-branded IPA cups. Even so, we had to question some of the barista training, as we caught the barista clearing the coffee grounds out of her filter basket with a plastic knife (!).