A good coffee in my books requires this main characteristic: have a long lasting, beautiful créma. If there is no créma it might as well be filter coffee and I go to Cafés for the romance, the ritual, the specialness of the experience… If my Espresso or Americano lacks créma then it’s pretty much ruined for me.
I am more likely to forgive burnt coffee flavour, cheap aroma lacking coffee even, but not the lack of a stable créma.
There you have it, I am a snob.
Ideally the coffee should be rich and aromatic, too.
I have a bone to pick with the lacklustre service in American Cafes, especially those that model themselves on a European theme. None offer table service. And it always makes me feel like I am doing half the job myself. Maybe I should also pour my own coffee while I am at the counter or make my own snack?
(The American Diner Cafes do table service , but if all you seek is an espresso and a brioche then you are out of luck, in fact don’t even try to get a fruit salad, that will almost guaranteed be a disappointment)
recommendation: send your staff on holiday to Italy and Germany and once they enjoyed the beautiful table service there implement it here in San Francicso, in Oakland and beyond. It just makes no sense to have the customer leave their bag and conversation at the table to get up, stand in line for another 15 minutes just to order an orange juice or sparkling water, or maybe a snack since they stayed longer than they expected. Just go to the table and offer more beverages & snackables, please…