Whole Foods Market

Overall Rating: 4.500

Address: 3950 24th St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Sanchez & Noe Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94114
Neighborhood: Noe Valley
Phone: 415.282.4700
Hours: Su-Sa 8am-10pm
Type of Establishment: Grocery (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 3.20
Barista: 4
Savvy: 5
Ambiance: 2
Presentation: 2
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 5.80
Aroma: 5
Body: 6
Brightness: 7
Crema: 6
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: -1.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Allegro Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Paper
Price: $1.55
Last Update: 03/06/2010
First Reviewed: 03/06/2010
Notes: Kiosk; Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Replacing an old Bell's Market, somehow this managed to get through neighborhood politics - which shut down a Real Foods store for many years across the street. Of course, we've always been bewildered by the inconsistent food politics of this grocery chain - like how they sell baby lamb with impunity and yet refuse to sell veal. Go figure. But to the right side in front is something of a service kiosk for coffee service - although there is limited seating in front of the store. You'll know you're there because they're hawking the ulta-trendy kombucha on tap here, but they also sport a two-group La Marzocco Linea - which actually requires real barista skill compared to their usual push-button Franke machines. Unfortunately they serve espresso in paper cups only. And at that, the shot is merely dumped from a small holding cup into a large paper cup for filter drip coffee. It has a pale to medium blonde crema, and there's a very mellow flavor of a subtle herbal pungency and mild spice. The shot is short, so even the mild flavor has some potency. But the shot lacks any real flavor depth: while there's brightness, there's no balance of body-rich, earthier tones to the flavor.