Caffè Bianco

Overall Rating: 7.050


Address: 39 Sutter St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn Market & Sansome Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94104
Neighborhood: Financial District
Phone: 415.421.2091
Hours: M-F 6am-6pm
Type of Establishment: Cafe
Cafe Rating: 7.20
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 8
Presentation: 7
Consistency: Inconsistent
Espresso Machine: Pasquini
Coffee Rating: 6.90
Aroma: 6
Body: 7
Brightness: 7
Crema: 7
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Malt-like
Coffee Beans: Mountanos Brothers
Cup Manufacturer: Arcopal
Price: $1.35
Last Update: 07/25/2008
First Reviewed: 06/03/2003
Notes: Temperature Control Problems; Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
Bright, Old World café with modern art, tall windows, and classic background jazz or Latin guitar music. Clean and (comparatively) sophisticated with older, distinguished downtown clientele. Sandwiches and hot dishes also served at several café tables. (The barista wisely asks if you prefer your espresso after the meal.) Just two outdoor tables shared with the eatery next door when the weather encourages it. Proudly display their support for Fair Trade coffee. The espresso has improved here a little since 2005, though they don't have their consistency down. Still, they're now making some of the best espresso they ever produced. (The nearby Starbucks hutch that moved in a few years ago perhaps made them step things up a notch.) They serve it warm and of a modest size with a medium brown, even crema. (Formerly, the cup could run more hot or cold, of a large pour at times, and occasionally with only a wide ring of crema). Slightly nutty, malty flavor with an peppery edge that borders on a drip coffee, but it's clearly an espresso. Cups vary from French Arcopal to U.S. Buffalo. Their milk frothing tends to be quite dry and egg-whites stiff, though their "specialty" drinks like the Cappuccino Montella or the Bianco are simple and not bad.