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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Drink This: The Horchata Latte at Noman Coffee

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane
In Homeric myth, Odysseus fools Polyphemus the man-eating cyclops by getting him drunk, telling him his name is "Noman," and driving a spear into his eye. When the other cyclopses ask Polyphemus who hurt him, he says, "Noman!" and Odysseys escapes in the confusion.

Meanwhile, Noman Coffee in the Mission has an horchata latte with a slightly more down-to-earth provenance than The Odyssey: It came from one of the baristas' abuelas. Still, the caffeine-filled shipping container that doubles as an art gallery and performance space has a lofty streak worth of its name. The art on the walls and the beer in the taps is edgy, but on a recent morning, instead of Beach House or Phantogram, the music inside came from Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

All Buzz, No Crash With Il Morso

Posted By on Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Eric Pratt
It sounds crass even to laugh at it now by way of condemnation, but in the 1970s and '80s, there was an appetite-suppressing confection, or "reducing chocolate," called Ayds. That's right: Get yourself some Ayds, and the pounds will just melt away.

Admittedly, any comparison with that will sound unfair no matter what, but the point is that claims to derive magical benefits from eating chocolate have a checkered history (at best). Not so with Il Morso, a year-old Oakland company that makes individual dark chocolate bites containing 18 milligrams of caffeine. The name simply means "the bite," so there's little risk of unfortunate wordplay, and the instructions read, "For Instant Coffee, Just Add Mouth." Cute but not cutesy, Il Morso's packaging is pretty good — a pale robin's egg blue printed with winged coffee cups with bite marks. (They're not unlike that army of flying toasters from the '90s, if you'll pardon a reference that's almost as dated as Ayds.)

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Six: World Gin Day is coming; Dad wants a pig roast

Posted By on Thu, Jun 9, 2016 at 1:14 PM

  • Whitechapel
World Gin Day is on Saturday - where to sip in SF
With Negroni Week coming to its close, it’s time to graduate to the final stage in alcohol adulation. Saturday brings us the international celebration of gin, that botanical booze we love so much. Visit Stookey’s Club Moderne (895 Bush) to experience their own house-made Barrel Aged Negroni, as well as a flight of G&T’s with Boodles, three different types being served from now through June 11th. And if gin really gets you going, don’t forget to stop by Whitechapel (600 Polk), SF’s resident gin haven.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

West Oakland's Trouble Coffee: Still Gleaming White, One Year In

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Cinnamon toast a la Trouble West Oakland - A. K. CARROLL
  • A. K. Carroll
  • Cinnamon toast a la Trouble West Oakland
Nearly one year after Giulietta Carrelli opened her third Trouble Coffee on a nondescript street corner off of 16th and Willow streets in West Oakland, I finally tried the $4 toast that starting making headlines in 2014. The place was quiet: dead quiet.

“Are you working today?” the barista asked, making me wonder how often she gets a customer at 11 a.m. on a Monday. I would have returned the question, but it seemed a foolish thing to ask the woman who was buttering my toast.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Corridor Café Now Caffeinating Civic Center

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • Nader Khouri

Hi Neighbor, the restaurant group behind Fat Angel, Stones Throw, and Trestle, has opened a café on the ground floor of the newly residential 100 Van Ness Avenue that is also the only brick-and-mortar location where San Franciscans can get coffee from Lamill: Corridor Cafe.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

UPDATED: What Is a $15 Cup of Coffee Like, Really?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 4:30 PM


UPDATE (5:16 P.M.): Equator Coffee says that more Finca Sophia will be available tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 10.

Equator Coffee on Market and Sixth Street has been selling $15 cups of Finca Sophia coffee. Buzzfeed wrote a story about it today, and while it mostly contains complete sentences, it didn't provide much of a non-gif picture of what this coffee is really about. This isn't the most expensive cup of coffee I've ever heard of — a few years ago, there was that $20-per-cup batch of Kopi Luwak, or beans pooped out by civet cats in Southeast Asia — but it's the fanciest I've ever had.

I like Sightglass and Ritual as much as anyone, but I can be a little put off by coffee's preciousness — tasting notes are lovely, but coffee is fundamentally a utilitarian beverage that most people drink with the taste of toothpaste still in their mouths. To confirm (or allay) my skepticism, I spoke with Akaash Saini, Equator's Community Engagement Manager (and a contestant in pour-over competitions), who broke it all down while pouring it over.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Oaxaca to Oakland: Proyecto Diaz Coffee Sources From Grandpa’s Farm

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Co-owner of Proyecto Diaz Coffee, Fernando Diaz packages coffee beans from his grandfather's farm in Oaxaca. - PROYECTO DIAZ COFFEE
  • Proyecto Diaz Coffee
  • Co-owner of Proyecto Diaz Coffee, Fernando Diaz packages coffee beans from his grandfather's farm in Oaxaca.

Two weeks ago, I flew over the Mexican state of Oaxaca in a puddle jumper. We flew low, occasionally passing tiny towns and their brightly colored churches popping out from the blanket of deep green jungle. It occurred to me that somewhere between the mountains and the coast it’s possible that I passed over Fernando Diaz’s grandfather’s coffee farm. Diaz himself has never been there, but his roasting company, Proyecto Diaz Coffee, is helping to make sure it grows.

“The mission is to help rebuild one coffee farm at a time,” said Diaz. “The concept of the farm was always in my life and the love that my grandfather had for it was passed down to my father and to me. Being at a distance, I wanted to figure out how to create a bridge from the city to the farm.”

To do that the Oakland roaster is sourcing directly from grandpa and putting 10 percent of profits towards building back the farm’s infrastructure. That means a mill, drying patios, shelter for workers, and transportation. Construction started late last year and they hope to have the farm self-sustaining within five years.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Farley's East: In Search of a Local Coffee Shop That Doesn't Smack of Hipsterdom

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Farley's gibraltar
  • Farley's gibraltar

I recently returned from a three-week stay in the Midwest. For those of you who can't fathom why anyone would willingly spend time in the windy nothingness and freezing-cold tundra of the Great Plains in the winter, let me assure you that you don't know what you're missing out on.

Despite the fact that northwestern Iowa — where I spent my undergraduate career and all of last weekend — does not offer much in the way of foodie culture (or winter produce), it is home to The Old Factory Coffee Shop, an unassuming local gem that couples Midwestern friendliness and community with a California-worthy commitment to local seasonal ingredients and damn-good — er, darn-good — coffee.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Embarcadero Report: The New Marla Bakery and Philz Coffee

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 5:30 PM

A bagel with cheese and pickles at Marla Bakery. - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • A bagel with cheese and pickles at Marla Bakery.

The new Ferry Building outpost of Marla Bakery opened yesterday, and since the weather was considerably better today, I stopped by to check it out. It's outside, on the northern end of the building, near the interminable line for Gott's Roadside, and although the service area is tiny, the four tables available for patrons to eat at are very capacious.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sept. 29 is National Coffee Day: A Coffee Lover’s Dream (Or Maybe Not)

Posted By on Sun, Sep 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Maple Wood brew - PROVENDER
  • Provender
  • Maple Wood brew

Exactly one year ago this month, we came up with a swell (or should I say swill) list of places in the Bay Area to receive a discounted cup of coffee on National Coffee Day. Would that this year’s research have yielded such an equally compelling set of results. In reaching out to cafés and roasters and others of that ilk, we can officially declare that, like God and the novel, the telephone is dead. Nail the banner on the burgermeister’s door, then sound the clarion call.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"