Grove Yerba Buena, The

Overall Rating: 7.550

Address: 690 Mission St.
Cross Street(s): 3rd St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94105
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.957.0558
Hours: M-F 7am-11pm; Sa-Su 8am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 9
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 7.60
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Verve Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Syracuse
Price: $2.10
Last Update: 09/27/2011
First Reviewed: 09/27/2011
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Yet another in the SF chain of "The Grove" breakfast cafés. They gutted the former Vino Venue here and put in all the trappings for which The Grove is known: a casual atmosphere, exposed natural woods, a fireplace, tree trunks, and the feel of a rustic hunting lodge (without the moose heads). Outside they've taken over the sidewalk space in front, installing ample seating among wooden tables and chairs in a sectioned-off are with clear plastic overhang. It's good for people-watching. Inside they have many wooden tables and chairs, a chalkboard menu, and a central espresso bar that sports a two-group La Marzocco Linea with bold Verve signage. And yet the cash register setup is not optimized for coffee service: you can end up waiting for minutes in line while indecisive patrons ahead of you stare at menus. (Service has also gotten our order wrong, delivering a macchiato when we ordered an espresso.) The shot has a modest mottled medium brown crema. It has a smooth, rounded flavor of a real espresso blend of some herbal elements, some spice, some earthiness, and a hint of sweetness. Their milk-frothing shows unevenly sized bubbles, but it's not terrible.