Overall Rating: 7.350

Address: 3966 24th St.
Cross Street(s): Noe St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94114
Neighborhood: Noe Valley
Phone: 415.642.1192
Hours: Su-Sa 5:30am-8pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 7
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Faema
Coffee Rating: 7.20
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: LaCoppa Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: International Tableware Incorporated
Price: $1.45
Last Update: 12/05/2008
First Reviewed: 10/21/2007
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Bernadette Melvin is a former employee of SF's Spinelli's, which was bought out by Tully's in 1998. When Tully's pulled out of this location in 2007, she moved in and opened with - and insisted upon - Arnold Spinelli's coffee (formerly Bonavita, now called LaCoppa). As a local to the neighborhood, the locals love her back. The shop is even run largely by her family members, and it's often packed full of MacBook-keyboard-pounding locals. Using a three-group Faema E91 Diplomat, they pull shots with a crema that can vary from a rich-looking, darker brown to a more pale, frothy, medium brown. It may be a little thin on body, but there can be more to it than smokiness. The cup has a full aroma and a robust roast taste of thyme and tobacco. There's can be a lot to like here. Unfortunately a lot seems to depend on freshness, which seems to vary from a potent cup made from beans as little as several days old to a more pedestrian espresso made from a three-weeks-old roast. It's also best when Bernie pulls the shots herself. So while good, this place doesn't live up to the hype anymore than an old Spinelli's chain caf´┐Ż would.