Bravado Coffee Bar and Lounge

Overall Rating: 7.650

Address: 170 King St. #109
Cross Street(s): Btwn 2nd & 3rd Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhood: China Basin
Phone: 415.957.1100
Hours: M-F 6am-8pm; Sa-Su 7am-7pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 8.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Fiorenzato
Coffee Rating: 7.30
Aroma: 7
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Medicinal
Coffee Beans: Caffè Pascucci
Cup Manufacturer: ACF
Price: $1.95
Last Update: 09/08/2011
First Reviewed: 01/13/2011
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

In 2009, the Italy-based Caffè Pascucci chain (and its espresso school, etc.) turned over its financial management to a group that has since favored more aggressive global expansion plans - bringing their first non-Italian café chain store on this spot, across AT&T Park, in Jan 2011. The Gambero Rosso's Bar d'Italia, the Italian bible of coffee ratings, rates the coffee at two of this café's Emilia-Romagna sisters as two and three (the max) chicchi respectively. It's solid compared to, say, Segafredo Zanetti, but weaker than Caffè del Doge. But by April 2012, they rebranded themselves as Bravado, serving the same coffee. Opening as a Caffè Pascucci, they brought along a barista of two years from there - complete with accent and tattooed arm. Inside it looks like a modern Italian furnishings store - complete with white leather seatings, angular tables and chairs, a mirrored wall, and tall stools. It's not a large space. There are some white sidewalk tables and chairs out front. Inside, front and center is a serving bar with twin, two-group, shiny Fiorenzato Ducale Tall machines from which they produce sizable doppio shots with a sharp, potent flavor. There's little softness to the cup's spice, woodiness, and slight bitterness that borders on a medicinal edge (that isn't particularly appealing). it has a nicely textured medium-brown crema, however. It's a solid Italian espresso, but not among its best examples. Served in gold logo ACF cups. Their drink menu famously has odd creations, caffè 'fantastico', like their list of "Espressi Confuso" - which is exactly as it sounds. (They are espresso drinks made with a unique cream-like concoction served from a whipped cream maker at a premium price.) Their milk frothing for cappuccino and the like isn't half-bad: a generally even texture, applied modestly. (They serve their larger drinks in glass.)