Jackson Place Cafe

Overall Rating: 7.350

Address: 633 Battery St.
Cross Street(s): One Jackson Pl., btwn Jackson & Pacific Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415.225.4891
Hours: M-F 8am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 9
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Astoria
Coffee Rating: 7.20
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 04/15/2011
First Reviewed: 06/05/2008
Notes: Kiosk; Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

This caf� isn't easy to stumble upon, even if its signature is a rather large Art Nouveau caf� sign in lights. You have to enter the One Jackson Place center to reach this caf�, adorned with a miniature zinc bar and zinc-plating decorating its small kiosk. Located in a quiet courtyard surrounded by multiple stories of lawyer and architect offices, old brick walls, and gas lanterns, it's a quiet place. The only seating here is outdoors: several outdoor, faded wood caf� tables and metal chairs - with seating additionally along the breezeway to Sansome St. In addition to coffee, they also offer bagels, panini, pizza, and salads. The friendly Italian owners engage the locals to test their Italian, even if its incongruous with the caf�'s signature Parisian and Art Nouveau style. When ordering an espresso, the barista might ask if you want it "straight or macchiato" - as if s/he expects that you made a mistake in not asking for milk. The espresso shots, made from Blue Bottle Coffee beans (typically Bella Donovan, though they sell other beans retail), are rather monstrous doppios - filled to the rim of their classic brown Nuova Point cups. They pull shots from a two-group Astoria machine, which is also a bit incongruous. The resulting shot has a medium brown crema with a decent texture and thickness despite its serving size. It has a flavor of mild pepper and some herbal notes, but no real sweetness. For Blue Bottle beans, it has a bit of a (not altogether unpleasant) ashy edge. The body is thinner due to the large size of the pour. This is why a choice of beans isn't sufficient to make a good espresso - the choice of machine, shot size, barista skill, freshness of the beans (they seem a little off), etc., all contribute to something that's less than than the expectations set by one single factor. But order a cappuccino, and the added milk forces a better cup. Their milk frothing has a good (and variable) consistency and may be a bit thin, but it sizes down the shot.