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Thread: Great Coffee in San Francisco

  1. #1
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    Great Coffee in San Francisco

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Blue Bottle Cafe. *Nuff said.

    Ok, so maybe you wanna know a little more. *Linea/Mazzer combo, V60 Pourovers & Syphon Bar, grind on demand. *Their coffees are great, breakfasts are outstanding and vibe & atmosphere awesome. *The queue was rarely shorter than the doorway. *This was by far, my fave cafe in SF.

    An honourable mention must go to Matching Half cafe on McAllister. *Nice coffee, great staff and funky atmosphere. *I found the shots too bright for my taste but that seems to be more due to the Sight Glass coffee they use.

    Sight Glass was a funky roastery that had a resident espresso bar. *Great coffee, great staff but too bright (per above).

    Four Barrel was a roastery cafe very similar to Mels St Ali in layout/atmosphere. *Thats where the similarity ends however. *Arrogant staff caught up in their own self importance and very average coffee. *No food, no tea. *The worst of the lot.

    (Pic of Blue Bottle attached)


  2. #2
    Senior Member summercrema's Avatar
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    Re: Great Coffee in San Francisco

    Iam heading that way in a week, let see how good it is.

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    Re: Great Coffee in San Francisco

    Stopped by Blue Bottle cafe today the one in Ferry Market, for comparison it is something like Dane, Tobbys Estate coffee, still has to work on milk stretching IMO. Another cafe that actually uses a synesso 2 grps is ContraBand hope I got the spelling right, I hope their coffee is good since they have* invested in a top end machine, a very small cafe so the focus better be quality of coffee, this shop is in Nob Hill, if u have* a deep pocket you can stop by
    Fairmont Hotel.* A word of advice dont walk back to Union Square, catch the Cable Car it is safer, the street is not so safe as I have found.

  4. #4
    Senior Member summercrema's Avatar
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    Re: Great Coffee in San Francisco

    Try Four Barrel cafe, it is in the Mission area it feels and looks like Tobby Estate near City Rd Sydney.

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    Four barrel - great set up. Very average coffee, went back to my room to the trusty aeropress/kyocera/home roasted Kenyan, then got on with the great city that it is, recommend magnolia on height st for beer instead!

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    Any updates on San Fran? I'll be there in a few weeks, but as we're travelling with 3 small kids and only there for a few days I doubt we'll get too far from our union square hotel.

    Having been to SF many times I realise I'm in for disappointing coffees around Union square, but I'm hoping maybe one of the better cafés from the mission or elsewhere had opened a city branch?

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    Anybody been to blue bottle in mint plaza, close to the Westfield mall at Powell st BART? Looks my best option in that area from bean hunter, but never sure how reliable those reviews are.

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    I was in San Francisco a bit over a year ago. Blue Bottle in Mint Plaza/Mint Street was well worth the visit; the queue wasn't any shorter than two years earlier (post #1) and seating was limited. Sightglass at 270 7th St was also worthwhile; their setup was something to see, and if you have milk with your coffee you may not mind that it's a little bright. Contraband at 1415 Larkin St was also quite good. My personal pick, though, would be MA Velous ("Mavelous" on Beanhunter) at 1408 Market St; great coffee!

    Hopefully these suggestions aren't too far from your hotel for you to venture forth with small children.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo.au View Post
    I was in San Francisco a bit over a year ago. Blue Bottle in Mint Plaza/Mint Street was well worth the visit; the queue wasn't any shorter than two years earlier (post #1) and seating was limited. Sightglass at 270 7th St was also worthwhile; their setup was something to see, and if you have milk with your coffee you may not mind that it's a little bright. Contraband at 1415 Larkin St was also quite good. My personal pick, though, would be MA Velous ("Mavelous" on Beanhunter) at 1408 Market St; great coffee!

    Hopefully these suggestions aren't too far from your hotel for you to venture forth with small children.
    Fantastic, thanks Banjo, that should keep us going for the trip.

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    BeanBay near Mint Plaza - good coffee, SO beans via lever machine. Don't be in a hurry, or go before 730AM to avoid the queue.
    I liked Sightglass, bright (but not too bright like Four Barrel), less busy than BeanBay, but the location is further away on 7th and slightly sketchy looking. You can walk there from union square but it will take about 15min.
    If you do go to the Mission area (you should), Ritual just a bit further down Valencia is a better bet than Four Barrel. Crowd watching at Four Barrel is its redeeming feature.

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    Thanks for those tips beabeabeaner.

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    Yep Blue Bottle is fine, nothing particularly special by Aussie standards, but by US standards it's great.

    But the queues are crazy. And the pretentiousness of the baristas is actually quite amusing, they really think they're the business...I guess if you constantly have a queue of 10+ people (and I mean constantly, all day) then perhaps it's not great for keeping your ego in check. Or people fawning over an average rosetta.

    I defy anybody to visit these cafes and not come away thinking that opening a cafe in the US is a good idea - pump out half decent coffee and you'll have a full house from morning to night, and US labour rates are a whole lot more appealing than Aussie penalty rates.

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Honestly, I've given it a thought (a hole in the wall sorta deal) but I don't think there's a market for it where I'll be.

    Plus I suspect it's not as easy as it looks, even if you're only producing drinks.

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    Anybody have any updated suggestions for good coffee in San Francisco? I'll be there for a week for a work conference, based at a hotel near the airport. It would be great if there are any suggestions for me.

    Cheers, Dave

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    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Reddit's /r/coffee would probably be the best place to get US-centric info. I know it's been asked a few times; a search should give you some leads.

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    I used to live in the Mission.

    My three favorites are Linnea Coffee, Ritual (already mentioned) and Tartine (for the baked goods, but the coffee is good too). As others have said Blue Bottle is good, but it's gotten too popular lately. I stay away from Four Barrel.

    Hope that helps!

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    hotel was right next to Sightglass on 7th St - big fan of this place, really great coffee and atmosphere - stopped in daily and was not disappointed
    Also visited Reveille Coffee Co on Columbus Ave and can say it was fantastic (also a cool building opposite with the Zoetrope Cafe in it if you're interested in beautiful architecture)

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    Great Coffee in San Francisco

    Doug, since I go back to SF pretty often, I'll check these out. Thanks!

    -------------
    Edit: for anyone else who is planning to visit SF, my current favorite is Artis Coffee, on Octavia St in Hayes Valley. Their coffee buyer is one of the original personalities from Blue Bottle. Not sure why he left, but he's doing good things. They currently have a Brazilian decaf that is the best decaf I've ever had.

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    Any updates on good coffee in San Francisco. I'll be there for a few days next week and any suggestions will be appreciated. I'm staying close to Union Square and not real familiar with the city

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    Quote Originally Posted by pecan View Post
    Any updates on good coffee in San Francisco. I'll be there for a few days next week and any suggestions will be appreciated. I'm staying close to Union Square and not real familiar with the city
    I was actually there last week for 12 hours. Both coffees I had were in the Mission area

    Four barrel coffee
    Linnea

    Both were very good, but coffee doesn't come cheap there. Around US$4 each

  21. #21
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    Blue Bottle (2nd St, in the city) is already mentioned - and I agree that the coffee is good.

    A post above suggests it's too busy. But I visited twice last year and it was no busier than many good spots in Melbourne.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm on my way now and I'll check out the places mentioned



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