Saint Frank

Overall Rating: 8.000


Address: 2340 Polk St.
Cross Street(s): Union St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94109
Neighborhood: Russian Hill
Phone: 415.775.1619
Hours: Su-Sa 7am-7pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar
Cafe Rating: 8.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Custom
Coffee Rating: 8.00
Aroma: 8
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Pungent
Coffee Beans: Ritual Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Le Porcellane d'ANCAP
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 06/02/2014
First Reviewed: 06/02/2014
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
Brainchild of former Ritual Coffee barista, Kevin Bohlin. Starting as a pop-up in SF's South Park (closing Dec 2013), this over-designed flagship café opened in Oct 2013. On the sidewalk out front there's limited wooden café table seating. In front there's window counter seating for four on stools right next to shelves of coffee merchandising just shy of the long service counter. It's a long space that is deceptively airier than its limited seating would suggest. There's an array of a few café tables against a shared wall bench; these are typically the domain of laptop zombie squatters. Further back there's an upstairs under bright skylights that offers two larger, semi-private tables. What makes the design here seem layered on with a shovel is an overwhelming sense that someone's idyllic vision of a café was selling coffee in an Apple Store. There are stark, plain walls and wood grain paneling plus a wannabe kanketsu "service philosophy" of removing as many barriers as possible between barista and customer. This is exemplified by their unique, Modbar-like espresso machine: a two-group, under-the-counter job either called the Jepy Minim (per the engineer/designer John Ermacoff, aka Jepy) or the Ghost (per project designer Ben Kaminsky). While it promises greater temperature control, etc., what only matters to us is what's in the cup. It's served slightly full with an even, medium brown crema. There's a balance to the flavor with hints of bright fruit, but there's primarily a mid-palate of herbal pungency. It's a very good shot. But for all the pomp, it produces little benefit beyond a barista who's able to stare at your crotch while brewing. They specially source coffees and roast them through Ritual for their private label, and our review is of their Little Brother Espresso for a whopping $3. (They also served a Costa Rica Los Crestones for $4.) Served in white ANCAP cups. There's also V60 pour-overs and Malkhoning EK 43 & K30 Twin grinders. And they call it spro