Overall Rating: 7.600

Address: 1435 Irving St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 15th & 16th Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94122
Neighborhood: Inner Sunset
Phone: 415.242.4119
Hours: M-F 8am-5pm; Sa-Su 9am-5pm
Type of Establishment: Other
Cafe Rating: 7.80
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.40
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 2.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Sour
Coffee Beans: Ritual Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $1.75
Last Update: 05/24/2010
First Reviewed: 05/24/2010
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Another installment in SF's series of "espresso bars in strange places," this one - open since 2009 in a former beauty salon - is located in a sort of gift shop. It's a very small space identified by its bright green exterior, and there are a couple of small chairs for sidewalk seating. Inside there are mirrors, planters, birdcages, bath oils, glassware, candle holders, and other odd home gifts - with two small tables in front and an espresso bar in back. There they use a two-group La Marzocco Linea to pull shots of Ritual Roasters coffee. They were pulling shots of Ritual's anniversary Five Candles blend when we visited - after months of their Evil Twin seasonal blend. The barista identified Evil Twin as being much more forgiving than the two-second extraction range the Five Candles could tolerate. And they do time their shots here: she sank a 17-second shot before letting a 24-second shot pass. The espresso had a mottled medium and darker brown crema, poured rather short in white Nuova Point cups. The shot was bright, fruity (sour green apple fruity), and a touch thin - likely reflecting the new espresso blend more than anything else. This is normally one of the best shots in the neighborhood, but the Five Candles blend didn't let them shine. This is a case where a roaster changes up their blends with the growing seasons and sometimes gets too clever - producing underwhelming results for the retail caf´┐Ż.