Torrefazione Italia

Overall Rating: 7.450

NOTE: This location is CLOSED (no longer in business).

Address: 161 Montgomery St.
Cross Street(s): Bush St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94104
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415.834.0368
Hours: M-F 5:30am-6:30pm; Sa 7:30am-2pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Elektra
Coffee Rating: 7.70
Aroma: 8
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Syrup-like
Coffee Beans: Torrefazione Italia
Cup Manufacturer: Le Porcellane d'ANCAP
Price: $1.40
Last Update: 08/16/2005
First Reviewed: 05/10/2003
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Small compared to its neighborhood sister cafés (Battery St., Union St.). Some decorative indoor tables and several sidewalk tables in the building shade. Dueling Elektra machines. Good latte art and fine microfoam: they excel at milk-based drinks. Le Porellane d'ANCAP logo cups. Their once honey-like flavor with some smokiness now leans more to a thinner, sharper taste with some ashiness. Since late 2004, they have cut back on staffing costs (in both quantity and quality), and the espresso quality has notably dropped in body, crema, and flavor (sometimes there's a burnt edge). White spots in the dark brown crema indicate a high brewing temperature. Too bad, because they've once proven themselves previously capable of the best espresso in S.F. Now their new owner, Starbucks, is intent on running this chain into the ground for conversion into more Starbucks - with far less skilled (and paid) staff, automated machines capable of only making idiot-proof mediocre coffee, and beans sold at only much higher production volumes for consistency. Any pride here seems to have fled. [CLOSED as of 10/3/05.]