When it comes to coffeehouses in San Francisco, few are worth writing home about. This isn’t one of them. But then the Castro Cheesery exemplifies what you most commonly find in the city’s murky midrange of espresso bars.

Contrary to its name, cheese plays second fiddle to the vast array of roasted coffee available for purchase in this tiny storefront — not to mention the coffee makers, filters, and related accessories. This dark, tiny place has no seating for customers, however.

Nevermind the scaffolding or the name: The Castro Cheesery Coffee selections inside The Castro Cheesery

They serve and sell Caffen coffee from Naples (i.e., Napes, Italy — and not that abomination in Florida that goes by the same name, even if the latter has adequate landfills for garbage collection). Using an older two-group Rancilio at the back (it used to be a La Pavoni), they serve espresso with a thin, pale crema and an average body. It has a woody, mostly herbal flavor that borders on ashy and bitter without jumping over the line too strongly.

With no seating area, everything is “to go” — which means paper cup purgatory.

Read the updated review of The Castro Cheesery.

The Castro Cheesery's Rancilio Mmmm... paper. The Castro Cheesery espresso