Wicked Grounds

Overall Rating: 7.150

Address: 289 8th St.
Cross Street(s): Folsom St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.503.0405
Hours: M-Th 10am-10pm; F 10am-2am; Sa 11am-2am; Su 11am-8pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.10
Aroma: 6
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Ritual Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Other Ceramic
Price: $2.25
Last Update: 03/26/2010
First Reviewed: 03/26/2010
Notes: None

This neighborhood caf� opened in late 2009 with the idea of serving sexual perversions and coffee in the same location. Yes, yet another prime example of how coffeeshops are being fetishized in the Bay Area. However, if you come during most daylight hours, the name of the place - and its subtitle of "Kink Caf� and Boutique" - is far more titillating than the vibe you'll find inside here. Evening events (bring your human pet, etc.) are another story. But beyond a small case of S&M gear for sale across the bar and some paintings of leather-clad models, it's pretty much a basic caf�. It even caters to vegans somewhat in its food fare of sandwiches and salads. But SF being what it is, there's always some whiner complaining about a lack of vegan bread or some such. They have a tea service and serve a lot of monster-sized Americanos and filter drip coffees, but espresso from Ritual Roasters beans is one of the highlights. The interior is relatively dark - the LGBT flags covering the front windows don't help - with dark wood floors, uniquely designed furniture, plenty of caf� tables and chairs, plus some bar stool seating. Using a rickety old La Marzocco Linea, they pull shots with an even, medium brown crema with some mottled texturing. (The barista had the portafilter handle pop out under pressure on his first attempt at pulling a shot.) It has a subtle aroma and not as much brightness as you might expect from Ritual Coffee. Flavorwise, it has a warming/spice flavor - but in a unique way quite different from filter drip coffee. There's almost no finish to the cup, however. Served in a generic white ceramic demitasse.