Frog Hollow Farm

Overall Rating: 7.650

Address: 1 Ferry Building
Cross Street(s): Embarcadero & Market St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: Embarcadero
Phone: 415.445.0990
Hours: M-F 7am-5pm; Sa 7am-6pm; Su 9am-5pm
Type of Establishment: Bakery
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 8
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 5
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 8.10
Aroma: 8
Body: 7
Brightness: 8
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 1.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Verve Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: ACF
Price: $2.25
Last Update: 04/25/2012
First Reviewed: 10/27/2003
Notes: Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

The story of Frog Hollow Farm, located at the rear of the Ferry Building, is a genuinely complicated one. In its 2004 prime, this was home to the best espresso in SF. Opening in Oct. 2003, this outlet for an organic peaches/specialty fruit/pastry business had taken their espresso efforts very seriously: an investment in a shiny new red new La Marzocco FB/70, deluxe wood tampers, Blue Bottle Coffee's first commercial appearance across the Bay Bridge, and barista training from James Freeman of Blue Bottle. In a sense, this café was SF's first Blue Bottle Coffee even if not in name. But by 2005, as James Freeman had his own designs to open SF coffeeshops under the Blue Bottle name, he pulled out of this location. The espresso immediately went downlhill and continued years of decline from poorly trained baristas, mishandled McLaughlin beans, and thin, watery shots. A measure of salvation came in a management change in Sept. 2009. The new Santa Cruz managers brought Verve coffee and barista training, and they now serve a solid, two-sip short shot of Sermon blend: with a medium brown, textured crema and a flavor that includes tobacco smoke, herbs, pepper, and a few others all well blended together. Only the body is a shade light for its pedigree. They operate two Mazzer grinders (one for Vancouver decaf) and sell bags of Verve beans. There is also now a small seating area of six stools in front.