Vega at Langton

Overall Rating: 7.600

Address: 1246 Folsom St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 8th & 9th Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.260.1262
Hours: M-F 7:30am-5pm; Sa 10am-3pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 5
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 8.00
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 03/26/2010
First Reviewed: 03/26/2010
Notes: Kiosk; Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

This is the flagship kiosk of a series of hole-in-the-wall caf�s named after Lambretta scooter models (the others being Cento and Special Xtra). There's even a yellow Lambretta in back with the Cafe Lambretta logo written across its windscreen - a remnant from the owners first, and since closed, caf� foray. (There's even a Cento scooter hung way up high.) Like its sister locations, it sports heavy Blue Bottle Coffee branding. Unlike its sisters, there's a bench to sit on, a makeshift sidewalk counter in front to stand at, and a lot of metalwork that went into the store signage (all warmed up by a lone, token fern). It's these "amenities" that make the Vega location the most comfortable of the chain, but that's still saying very little. In addition to their Macau iced coffee and teas, the real love here is on the espresso. They sell Vega-co-branded Blue Bottle beans at the counter, though these can sometimes run two weeks old after the stamped roast date. From a three-group La Marzocco Linea, they pull a modest shot with a textured medium and darker brown crema that's a little on the thin side. It has a dark, semi-potent flavor of herbal pungency, but its flavor profile range is a bit narrow. It's a guess, but we suspect the bean stocks could be a little fresher for an improvement here. Served in classic brown Nuova Point cups.