Cafe Claude

Overall Rating: 7.050

Address: 7 Claude Lane
Cross Street(s): Bush St., btwn Grant & Kearny Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94108
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415.392.3515
Hours: M 11:30am-5pm; Tu-W 11:30am-10pm; Th-Sa 11:30am-10:30pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating: 7.50
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: La Spaziale
Coffee Rating: 6.60
Aroma: 7
Body: 6
Brightness: 5
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Mr. Espresso
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 07/05/2011
First Reviewed: 10/03/2003
Notes: Outdoor Seating

Another of a series of area French-themed bistros (complete with accents) on quaint downtown sidestreets. Popular and always packed, they have a curved zinc bar, live jazz on weekends, and private alleyway seating beneath parasols. Decorated with homages to France's unlikely pop icon of the 1960s, Serge Gainsbourg. They serve espresso from a veteran, red, three-group La Spaziale that's been their workhorse for years. In that time, they've switched over their Caff´┐Ż Trieste beans for Mr. Espresso and their Cordon Bleu cups for classic brown Nuova Points. The switch has improved the flavor over time, but not much else has changed. But what was once a decent layer of medium brown crema served in a tall, narrow demitasse is now a blonde, lighter crema served in a classic cup with a small, wrapped chocolate on the side. Gone is the hot serving temperature of old. It has a bold, and good, aroma now, with more earthy flavors blended together on a somewhat thin body. They occasionally store excess pre-ground beans from the grinder, but most of the espresso is freshly ground.