just back from my birthday weekend in San Francisco. it was an incredible experience. the highlight was dinner at the French Laundry which is, in my opinion, the best restaurant in the US by a rather significant margin. incredible. i had been warned and, as a result, i did not ruin my meal with coffee.
but this is not about my food experiences, so...
San Francisco has long deserved good coffee - but has really never had it.
that seems to finally be changing.
first Frog Hollow started doing a decent job down in the Ferry Building.
and now Blue Bottle has expanded and has a cart at the Saturday Ferry Building market as well as a little storefront operation over in Hayes Valley.
the market cart was insane. honestly, i've never seen a more difficult environment for making good coffee. it was totally crazy. i watched James and Steve at work and could not imagine how they could do it. huge crowds, outdoors by the bay, weather changes, a lever machine, no kitchen or prep area to speak of. nuts.
the Hayes St location, on the other hand, is super cool. it's a very funky setup in the front of a garage space on an alley. they have tons of regulars and are doing good drinks. if i was living in SF i'd be one of the regulars for sure.
and now Ritual will be opening as well.
i met up with a bunch of coffee folks at Blue Bottle. i'd planned to meet Steve (who was working) and Andrew Barnett there - and then Keith (roaster from Mt Shasta) and Eileen from Ritual showed up as well. you want a good sign? there you go. nice work James, Steve et al.
and Steve gave me a little of their new Yemen which is really really lovely. great aromas, wonderful sweet fruit, slightly milky but still quite clean and defined. one of the best Yemens i've tasted in the last 2 years.