I hadn’t seen the illy caffè North America crew since attending Università del Caffè at CIA Greystone. I’ve long admired them as a privately-owned company: run by cool people, with an attention to coffee quality and investments in coffee science long before anybody thought that made any sense, and even being named a world’s most ethical company for four years running now. So when they invited me to another San Francisco illy caffè opening last month, of course I accepted.

This is another illy Caffè in SF (and not another Espressamente) — this one located in the eastern shadow of the Transamerica Pyramid, in the heart of the Financial District. Like the other illy caffè on Union St. that predated it, the food menu is a bit more involved and the service levels are just a touch higher than you’d get at an Espressamente.

Entrance to illy Caffè on Sansome St. in SF's Financial Distrcit The illy chandelier at 505 Sansome

Tricked out illy mobile cart and too many models in black at the illy opening Pastry counter at illy's 505 Sansome location

It’s a 1352 square-foot space capable of seating 32 patrons, and there’s the requisite illy Art Collection chandelier made of their designer cups as you walk in. Tall windows overlook the modern SF firehouse across the street with various café tables spread about for lingering.

Behind a large pastry counter (from City Bakery and Tout Sweet Patisserie) they operate a two-group La Marzocco Strada machine. With it they’ve pulled shots with a picture-perfect, medium brown tiger-striped crema of modest thickness. The flavor profile is classic illy: mild spices, wood, and a broader flavor profile. Served in designer IPA logo cups.

Inside, the illy caffè NA crew showcase the company and menu Master Barista, Giorgio Milos, looks on at the event

illy caffè NA's Mark Romano explains their coffee sourcing illy's affogato specialty drink

Milk-frothing here is good: it may not be the prettiest, but it has a good texture and density. As illy has gotten into signature drinks lately, upon visit they were featuring their summer-ready illy Espressoda and a dessert-worthy illy Cinnamon Vanilla Affogato. For those bored with good coffee.

Read the review of illy caffè on Sansome St. in San Francisco’s Financial District.

illy Caffè's La Marzocco Strada The illy Caffè espresso

Cappuccino served at illy Caffè's 505 Sansome location