Neetos Cafe

Overall Rating: 4.100

Address: 71 Stevenson St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 1st & 2nd Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94105
Neighborhood: SOMA
Phone: 415.546.0897
Hours: M-F 6am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 3.80
Barista: 3
Savvy: 2
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 4
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Schaerer
Coffee Rating: 4.40
Aroma: 3
Body: 4
Brightness: 5
Crema: 5
Flavor: 5
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: XL
Primary Taste: Ashy
Coffee Beans: Peerless
Cup Manufacturer: Other Ceramic
Price: $1.85
Last Update: 03/26/2008
First Reviewed: 04/07/2006
Notes: None

This business luncheon caf´┐Ż has been open since 1993, nestled between taller buildings just south of Market Street. They have two lines: "for here" and take-out, so choose wisely. They're a bit old school, where you take a number to one of several tables in back and the chef brings your order out to you (including your espresso). With their heavy advertising and signage for espresso drinks inside, they more recently performed some minor upgrades to their espresso set up, but it still follows what constituted an acceptable SF espresso in 1993. Before, using a unidentified semi-automatic machine at the counter, they poured one of the most bizarrely voluminous espresso shots in the city. With the newer, idiot-proof superautomatic Schaerer Ambiente machine (practically a Verismo), the volume is a little less (thankfully). But oddly, the resulting shot still looks closer to Swiss Miss hot chocolate without the marshmallows than it looks like espresso: it has a bubbly, almost foamy, pale crema that gives it a cream color. The flavor is less watered down than before, and rather than ashy it is now a smoother mild spice that at least doesn't taste like filter drip. Still, despite these slight improvements, I think of the famous Abraham Lincoln quote, "Waiter, if this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." Except here replace tea with Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix.