Workshop Cafe

Overall Rating: 7.050

Address: 180 Montgomery St.
Cross Street(s): Bush St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94104
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415.322.1048
Hours: M-F 6am-10pm; Sa-Su 8am-10pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.10
Aroma: 7
Body: 6
Brightness: 7
Crema: 8
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: notNeutral
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 08/25/2013
First Reviewed: 08/25/2013
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

While we can't say we're surprised that someone finally came up with the concept for this space, we are surprised at how problematic it is. The idea is simple: people are getting their work done in coffeeshops all over the city. Some are even founding new start-ups there. So how to service the need for a workspace and the need for coffee? Opening in Aug. 2013, this large space attempts to address both simultaneously. For the office side, there's a concierge, a mobile app to use the space, and charges to cover the sustainable costs of camping out without making the coffeehouse go broke trying to survive coffee sales alone. There are powerstrips, fabricated office paneling, and pretty much all of the trappings of cubicle hell without the actual cubicles. And this is the rub: it fails as a caf´┐Ż largely because those places succeed at getting us to enjoy a respite from the office. Here you feel like you should be paid to enter. It's a little akin to a lunch spot that chooses "eating at your desk" as a dining theme and provides the desks. The environment is so functional here, it's devoid of any pretense of enjoying the experience of the place. They have Mazzer grinders, V60 pour-overs, Stumptown coffee, and a two-group La Marzocco GB/5 at the entrance service counter -- which all sound promising. But beyond a visually appealing medium brown crema with dark brown cheetah spots, it has a thinner body and a subdued heft and flavor: some pungency and spice but limited depth and breadth of flavor. This is an underachiever, served in notNeutral Lino cups. Points for trying, but the execution is all wrong.