Alvin's Scrumptious Coffees & Teas

Overall Rating: 6.800


Address: 1708 Irving St.
Cross Street(s): 18th Ave.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94122
Neighborhood: Inner Sunset
Phone: 415.661.2888
Hours: M-F 6:30am-6:30pm; Sa 7:30am-6:30pm; Su 8am-2pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 6
Savvy: 8
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 8
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Futurmat
Coffee Rating: 6.60
Aroma: 5
Body: 6
Brightness: 8
Crema: 6
Flavor: 7
Taster's Correction: 1.0
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Alvin's of San Francisco
Cup Manufacturer: China Ceramic
Price: $1.75
Last Update: 02/26/2006
First Reviewed: 02/26/2006
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
Alvin Azadkhanian is something of an SF institution amidst the ever industrialized approach of coffee roasting and serving. This unassuming storefront/café has a few plastic sidewalk tables & chairs out front under awnings and a few simple diner tables inside. They sell everything from Bodum Santos vac pots, La Pavoni Europiccola machines, many organic roasts for around $10/lb, and even the ridiculous Kopi Luwak at $75/4-oz. But Alvin's is far from pretentious. It's a friendly neighborhood place, and the master roaster will serve your espresso himself. (There are pictures of him roasting out of a PROBAT roaster on the back wall.) Using a two-group Futurmat, Alvin pulls a larger shot with a marginally thin and pale crema. Roasting, rather than espresso preparation, is visibly Alvin's passion. His espresso has a milder, smooth flavor. But instead of tasting weak, it's delicately flavorful of fresh mild pepper and some cedar. He serves it in an ornate-looking, Chinese-made demitasse (ironically branded as "Italian Styles").