This newest location of the Bay Area chain is the sophisticated sister to the rest — perhaps a nod to the residential growth in SOMA as China Basin fills. A long, windowed, sidewalk-facing café with dark painted walls, dark wood furniture, elegant lamps, opera music, and plenty of stands selling coffee accessories: Moka pots, coffee cups, etc.

Approaching Caffé Trieste in SOMA Caffé Trieste's elegant interior

Using dual two-group La San Marco machines, they pull shots with a generally decent crema that shows signs of intense heat: it’s split between a dark brown center with whiter heat spots from under the spouts. (I’d normally attribute that to machine tuning for a new place, but with Caffé Trieste they like high brewing temperatures.) The cup doesn’t have much aroma, but the body is adequate. Flavorwise, it is dark, smoky, and carries tobacco. It has some sweetness, but it remains just this side of ashy. Served in classic brown ACF cups.

Read the review of Caffé Trieste, SOMA.

Running dual two-group La San Marco machines The Caffé Trieste, SOMA espresso