This cafe is next to my work place. I pass by on a daily basis, and I usually don’t stop. I’ve had an occasional cup of joe, and today since I neglected to get my shot of espresso from Blue Bottle, and also neglected to get enough of the freshest espresso from Moschetti, I figured I’d get a shot of espresso from The Coffee and Tea Leaf.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - San Francisco

A “small” shot is $1.75 and a “large” shot is $2.25. I decided to see what they could do with a “small” shot. As is my usual habit, I planted myself in a place where I could watch the barista do her thing. She loaded up the portafilter with a mound of already ground coffee from the grinder’s doser. Then she didn’t bother to tamp the coffee and just stuffed the portafilter into the Cimbali Espresso Machine. A paper cup was placed on one side of the dual spout portafilter and a shot glass was placed on the other side. The shot was poured and it was all of a 5 second shot. The paper cup was handed to me, and the shot glass was unceremoniously dumped.

I opened the lid of the cup and stared at a watery bit of espresso that had almost zero crema. I took a whiff and the espresso had little aroma, and the taste was bitter, and little coffee flavor. There was zero body to the espresso and no-silky texture. One sip and I threw away the cup with the remaining espresso. It was a crappy experience and I’ll not buy another cup of coffee or espresso.

The curious thing to me is that there’s always a crowd there, and I see folks who are regulars, and I wonder why.

Don’t bother getting a shot of espresso from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. They have no interest in quality coffee. It is obviously not fresh, since there is no crema, and I don’t think the baristas are up to the challenge of pulling a decent shot.

On an espresso rating scale of 1-5, they get a 1. Poor taste, poor execution.

I recommend that the owners, managers, and employees of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cafe march down the street to Blue Bottle on Mint Street and experience what a good shot of espresso looks like, and tastes like. Then march right back to your cafe and practice until you can pull a good shot of espresso.

I am gathering up a list of San Francisco Bay Area Coffee Roasters. Why? Well, because I love coffee, and I want to try as much high quality micro roasted coffee as I possibly can. Here are a few I’ve tried and like.

San Francisco Bay Area Coffee Roasters
Moschetti Espresso
Moschetti is a Northern California Microroaster of the finest organic, and pesticide-free, shade-grown, fresh roasted coffee beans. Small batch roasting insures the freshest coffee and finest control of the flavor profile of each single origin coffee bean or blend of the world’s most fascinating coffees. Located in the North San Francisco Bay Area, Moschetti roasts coffee on a daily basis insuring the freshest espresso.
Moschetti strives for dynamic, sweet, earthy, balanced and complex flavors by carefully choosing coffee beans from the world’s
coffee growing regions. We love and respect coffee. Contact Fabrice Moschetti for all your coffee and espresso needs, whether it be freshly roasted coffee beans or top of the line espresso machines.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle Cafe is San Francisco Microroaster.
Pacific Bay Coffee Inc.
Pacific Bay is a San Francisco Coffee Roaster
Ritual Coffee Roasters
Ritual Coffee is a San Francisco Coffee Roaster
Rogers Gourmet Coffee & Tea Market
Roger’s Gourmet Coffee & Tea Markets a San Francisco Coffee Roaster
Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company
Graffeo is a San Francisco Coffee Roaster