Trouble Coffee & Coconut Club

Overall Rating: 8.050

Address: 4033 Judah St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 45th & 46th Aves.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94122
Neighborhood: Outer Sunset
Phone: 415.690.9119
Hours: M 7am-7pm; W-Sa 7am-7pm; Su 8am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.20
Barista: 9
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Custom
Coffee Rating: 7.90
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: -0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Ecco Caff´┐Ż
Cup Manufacturer: U.S. Ceramic
Price: $2.30
Last Update: 07/22/2012
First Reviewed: 01/21/2008
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

This espresso bar opened in the summer of 2007 as something of a landmark DIY oddity of San Francisco. But as it grew in stature, popularity, and demand, it's since come to resemble most other coffee houses in SF. Run by the tattooed, oddly accessorized young eccentric, Giulietta Carrelli (formerly of Athens, GA's Jittery Joe's and with connections to SF's Farley's Coffeehouse), they first served only three simple items, each of them standouts: coffee, coconut, and toast. (She attributes the start of the place to a coconut and a tattoo.) Today that list includes hot cocoa, chai, tea, grapefruit, sparkling water, pastries, and a rather diverse coffee menu. It's still a tiny space near the beach end of the N Judah line, but it has since lost its "Fellini's garage sale" theme. The locals still hang out here in groups. Their equipment remains mostly hot rod, DIY: machine, grinder, etc. They use Ecco beans as they did originally (after a brief phase with De La Paz), and they try to optimize them for 4-to-8 days after roasting. The shots here tend to have a rich, textured dark-to-medium brown crema and a rather full flavor (even for a single bean varietal). With a flavor of pungent (cloves, thyme) goodness. Giulietta will even recommended a macchiato for the newer beans that haven't fully gassed out yet: americanos and macchiati are quite popular with the locals. Once they offered Nuova Point cups, but they have since switched to their own DIY ceramics. The milk frothing has never been good, but its outright amateurish on their cappuccino: carelessly thrown together with no finesse and the proportions all wrong. Even so, some of the best parts about this place are Giulietta's great storytelling combined with good espresso.