Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bean Brawl

Your guide to SF’s latest coffee explosion


SF’s rivalry with LA is no secret. The one with Seattle, though, that’s a little more hush-hush.
For years now, SF roasters have been giving the Northwest’s coffee culture a run for its money, and a flurry of openings in the last month proves the movement is just heating up.

Here are three new cafes on both sides of the bay where brilliant baristas are putting out some of the best coffee in the country.

Espressamente Illy
One of only nine outposts in the U.S., the Italian roaster’s new Castro location is a bright, work-friendly space that offers a rotating daily menu, lounge areas, and a full line of coffee accouterments for the home. Which is crazy, since we’re not sure why you’d ever want to leave.
2349 Market St., Castro.

This Berkeley beanery employs the Japanese method of heating fresh, green beans at the height of their flavor and brewing them within a brief window to optimize the coffee’s aromas and oils. The location will be offering classes and bespoke blends soon, so check back for that. Proof that crossing the bridge is occasionally worth it.
1717B 4th St., Berkeley (510-982-6063).

Libby Jane
You’re familiar with Brenda’s, Polk’s go-to soul food spot. This few-doors-down cafe is their latest expansion, upping the Tenderloin’s sweet tea game by about 100%. Coffee is a given (they brew Ritual), complimented heavily by house-made treats (sweet potato biscuits, Ruffles-and-Cracker-Jack cookies) in a cheery, butter-yellow space. It’s Southern hospitality on overdrive.
644 Polk St., Tenderloin (415-926-2540).

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