Equator Coffee & Teas

Overall Rating: 7.900

Address: 986 Market St.
Cross Street(s): Mason St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Tenderloin
Phone: 415.614.9129
Hours: M-F 6:30am-6pm; Sa 9am-3pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.20
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 9
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 7.60
Aroma: 7
Body: 8
Brightness: 7
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Equator Estate Coffees
Cup Manufacturer: England Ceramic
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 08/29/2016
First Reviewed: 08/29/2016
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

This Mid-Market outlet of the slowly growing Equator chain espouses being a "populist" place for coffee. Given the neighborhood and surrounding environs, you can't get too precious about your coffee given the occasional heroin overdose. Located next to The Warfield theater (and the Crazy Horse strip club), the space is bright and decorated with inclining angles and lots of exposed concrete - with leafy green stencils. Roasted coffees and teas are displayed for retail sale on the back wall. There's a sort of cherry wood indoor counter with four metal stools at the bar, plus a couple more benches at either side of the entrance as window counter seating. Beyond there's sidewalk seating beneath two parasols and benches sectioned off from the sidewalk traffic. They offer beer and wine on tap, sandwiches and "boards" to eat, and of course coffee: espresso and pour-overs. They pull shots from a white, two-group La Marzocco FB/70 with an even, medium-to-dark-brown crema. It's a relatively deep, darker espresso of fuller volume for a doppio shot: and four sips large at that. The flavor has some pepper, spices, a hint of molasses, but is a bit limiting on brightness with some slight cherry fruit. Served in white ceramic cups with a decorative spoon and short glass of still water on the side. While good, I expect more. A place with its award-winning coffee stature really ought to do better. It hardly gives a Peet's a run for the money.