Sugar Caf�

Overall Rating: 6.500

Address: 579 Sutter St.
Cross Street(s): Taylor St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Union Square
Phone: 415.441.5678
Hours: M-F 7am-2am; Sa 8am-2am; Su 8am-11pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 6
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Schaerer
Coffee Rating: 6.00
Aroma: 6
Body: 5
Brightness: 6
Crema: 7
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Sugar Caf�
Cup Manufacturer: Glass
Price: $1.65
Last Update: 08/07/2007
First Reviewed: 08/07/2007
Notes: None

Talk about an unusual opening in the West Union Square area. This caf� is the daytime sister to The Cellar next door/downstairs (they even share employees) and it turns to a bar/lounge at night. Across from the Academy of Art University, it doesn't seem like much from the outside. But inside there's a designer gas fireplace, dark wood floors, dark brown walls (13-feet tall), a wall that converts to a movie projection screen at night to go with the beer and wine served here. It's a gallery-like space, with wide windows, modern furniture, and a long bar featuring twin superautomatic Schaerer machines. While that is a bit of a disappointment for everything put into the place, right next to these machines they employ an on-site SonoFresco ("I am fresh" in Italian) "Live Roast" coffee roaster. You'll even see plastic cannisters of green beans stored nearby (they store the resulting roasts in the back). But a lot here has a DIY ethic, from the fresh orange juice squeezer contraption to fresh baked goods. They serve espresso in a short whiskey glass, and it comes with about a 2mm layer of even, textured crema. Flavorwise, it's very mellow and muted. But it's light without tasting diluted (eventhough the shot is a touch large). The freshness of the coffee, however, makes it mildly interesting over the usual swill at these kinds of places. And interestingly enough, the place does nothing to promote their on-premises fresh coffee roasting.