Linea has two locations, Linea Caffe, in San Francisco’s Mission District, and today’s Coffee Spot, its wonderful café/roastery on Mariposa Street in Potrero Hill. This opened in January 2020, just after my last visit to Linea Caffe and just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic. Occupying Intelligentsia’s old San Francisco roastery, it’s a lovely spot, with the roastery at the back on the left and a spacious coffee bar/retail area at the front on the right.
For now, there’s no indoor seating (due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic), but there is a stepped terrace outside on Mariposa Street as it descends to pass under I-280 on its way to San Francisco Bay. Of course, with San Francisco’s climate, outdoor seating is all you really need, although this arrangement does mean that Linea is only has disposable cups, so don’t forget to bring your own (which attracts a 25% discount).
The real draw is the coffee, with a blend on espresso and a rotating single-origin on batch brew filter. There’s a much wider selection of beans to buy in retail bags, including multiple single-origins and a range of organic coffee. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, there’s a selection of cakes and pastries.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Linea Coffee Roasting + Caffe is in the northeast corner of Potrero Hill, on the south side of the broad, quiet Mariposa Street as it descends the flanks of the hill towards San Francisco Bay. Although only a single storey, the building stands out with its bold blue façade and red-framed windows. The coffee roasting part is on the left (downhill side) while the caffe is on the right (uphill), with the door at the far, right-hand end.
When it opened at the start of 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was limited indoor seating, but that has yet to return. Instead, the interior is clear and uncluttered, with the counter running along the back wall, and a large retail section occupying the left-hand end of the space. Your natural inclination is to go to the right-hand end of the counter, but Linea has a pseudo one-way system in place, where you order at the left-hand end of the counter, next to the retail selection.
This makes a lot of sense, since it leads you along the front of Linea, past the retail selection, then on past the cakes before you reach the till. Then, once you’ve ordered, just keep going along the counter, past the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine (you can imagine how much that pleased me, particularly since Linea Caffe has a La Marzocco KB90) to the far end. Here you collect your coffee before heading out of the door behind you. Very clever.
Outside, you can take your pick of the seating on the stepped terrace. The terrace has four wooden steps, which stand in the road at the edge of the pavement, protected from any passing traffic by a waist-high metal fence. Standing with your back to Linea, the top-most step is on the left, with a bench running the full width of the terrace at the left-hand end. This step, along with the middle two, also has a low bench at the right-hand (downhill) side, although this one doesn’t quite run the terrace’s full width. Finally, the last has a bench on the near side, along with a standing bar at the left-hand end, with views down the street.
All the coffee is roasted on-site, the roastery, along with its Probat UG-22, clearly visible behind the bags of coffee on the table to the left of the counter. Before taking over the site, Linea roasted at the Pulley Collective in Oakland, although the building is no stranger to Linea’s owner, Andrew. His previous company, Ecco Caffe, occupied the premises before being bought by Intelligentsia in 2009.
Although I was tempted by the batch brew filter (an organic Ethiopia Suke Quto during my visit), I ordered a cortado in my HuskeeCup. Made with the house espresso blend, this was rich and smooth with classic notes, providing a great start to my day. I paired it with a buckwheat financier, although again I’d been tempted by something else, in this case, a doughnut. However, you don’t see buckwheat financiers very often and I was persuaded by a combination of the barista’s recommendation and the memories of the one I’d had at Linea Caffe. I wasn’t disappointed.
Before I left, I bought a couple of bags of coffee, one of which Amanda and I enjoyed in Georgia, while the other went as a gift to Krema Coffee back in Guildford. This purchase qualified me for a free coffee, so I had an espresso in my Kaffeeform cup. This was gorgeous, with a pleasing kick (sharp rather than acidic) that I wasn’t expecting since it had been so smooth in milk.
Finally, I left the staff with a gift of Kenya Blue Mountain Jungle Estate from Adams + Russell in Birkenhead.
|1125 MARIPOSA STREET • SAN FRANCISCO • CA 94107 • USA|
|https://lineacaffe.com||+1 415 780 5424|
|Monday||08:00 – 15:00||Roaster||Linea (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 15:00||Seating||Benches (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 15:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 15:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 15:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 15:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||08:00 – 15:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||27th July 2022|
Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of San Francisco’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to San Francisco.
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