Starbucks Coffee

Overall Rating: 5.400

Address: 295 California St.
Cross Street(s): Battery St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415.986.2349
Hours: M-F 5am-7pm; Sa 7am-3pm; Su 8am-3pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 5.80
Barista: 3
Savvy: 6
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 7
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Verismo
Coffee Rating: 5.00
Aroma: 5
Body: 4
Brightness: 5
Crema: 5
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Starbucks Coffee
Cup Manufacturer: Other Ceramic
Price: $1.35
Last Update: 02/06/2006
First Reviewed: 02/06/2006
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

This former great Torrefazione Italia location seems to be one of the main reasons why Starbucks even bothered to buy out the chain in SF. While the other locations remain boarded up, Starbucks has fully moved in with their branding in high gear - even if there's another Starbucks (a former Oh La La!) across the street at 123 Battery. But walk in, and gone are the great hallmarks of TI: no leather chairs, no classy wooden tables. Instead this caf´┐Ż feels unmistakably more like a music store (Borders?) - and it sounds that way too, with all the inane Starbucks music for sale played over the sound system. The result is an excessively bland experience that makes you feel that even the toilet paper in the bathroom is for sale. Oh, and did I mention they serve coffee here? A good amount of indoor seating and some of the best patio seating downtown. Dazed, deer-in-the-headlights employees have that first-day-on-the-job (any job) freshness. If hell made an EPCOT version of the Starbucks of 2009, this is it. And the coffee lives up to it: served with a thin, albino-pale crema filled high in a Starbucks private label cup. With a heavily watered down flavor that barely suggests anything, but diluted pepper and spice would be my suggestion. Weak even by Starbucks' standards. When I visited, there was a streetperson sleeping face flat on their plastic-coated tables - whom the manager had to wake up by rapping his knuckles on it. For a minute, I thought the guy was just weeping over the demise of Torrefazione Italia at this spot. I know I was.