|The signs say 'The Coffee Bean' from the street level in 4EC. It's a typical Embarcadero Center storefront, with limited indoor and outdoor table seating. There's the typical wooden crate motif, with accessorized retail stands of coffee bags, teas, and coffeemakers. And the cheesy pop music that makes you feel like you're in a suburban L.A. mall - which is also on theme for this chain (that and all the customers that look like L.A. expats). Using three-group and two-group La Cimbali machines, they serve espresso with a modestly sized pour, a full aroma, and a thinner light-to-medium brown crema. It has softer, milder flavors of wood and spices - yet it represents one of the better examples from this chain. One thing they do have down is their consistency. The service can be painfully slow when beverage prep queues back up at peaks around the hour, however. Served in delicate Coffee-Bean-logo ceramic cups and saucers.