|Opening in May 2009 - in the space previously occupied by the Illy shop, Caff� Il Latte - this tiny caf� was the first to offer espresso made from beans of Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee Roasters. The tiny space relies on mirrored walls to add depth, and there is a little bit of a kitchen to prepare their local, organic foods. But, IMO, it's largely about the coffee here (even if people are always coming in asking for bagels). There's a single square wooden table inside with wooden bench seating on two ends. Meanwhile, their three-group La Marzocco Linea at the front counter almost dominates the space. The place is run by two former Blue Bottle staffers in Kate and Shannon Amitin, and Verve was convinced this was the right place to start an SF presence. For their standard espresso shot (reviewed here), they use Verve's All-City blend - which was custom designed for the caf�. Shannon indicates he wanted an espresso blend without "trendy" fruitiness in its flavor profile, and the All-City delivers a potent, sharp, extremely bright shot that reminds us of Hairbender. They were going for an Italian-style espresso, and it is served relative short and with a very potent herbal flavor. (Not for the meek who like their coffee mellow or with milk.) They considered forgoing the whole "single origin thing", but they offer a unique Sumatra ($3.50) that contrasts greatly with their espresso blend (more floral and smooth-bodied). And to appeal to the trendy misery coffee market, they also sell cans of Caf� Bustelo. Kate's SF-famous sea salt caramels are also on offer.