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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Caffeine Scene: Artís Coffee Opens in Hayes Valley

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge ARTÍS COFFEE
  • Artís Coffee
Artís Coffee in Hayes Valley serves up one of the smoothest cups of coffee, period. The newly opened, cozy, 500-square-foot space specializes in live coffee roasting, and ably marries the old world (beans) with the new, new third-wave world (technology via roasting and brewing machines with coffee accessories every which way). I honed in on a double filtered machine called the Blossom One, which was the source of a fruity and mild cup of hot Galena Abaya coffee made with beans from Ethiopia. 

click to enlarge MILK & SUGAR BAR
  • Milk & sugar bar
As advertised, the flavor notes boasted citrus, with hints of cherry and jasmine – a nice fruit-forward treat that could work equally well over ice since the tannin level was so low. As we sat at the counter, I was hoping for a dash of afternoon caffeine, but was pleased that the buzz wasn’t too strong. My companion appreciated that the staff did not get uppity when she ordered a decaf hot coffee — this is a nice and informative bunch. There are five single-origin coffees to choose from, one decaf (also single-origin) plus an Artís Espresso blend.

The Hayes Valley location officially opened May 16, and has live-roasting like its older (and much bigger) 1700-square-foot sibling in Berkeley. Live-roasting is a concept that CEO Alex Lowe focused on after traveling in Japan and seeing green coffee beans individually prepared for each customer, on the spot. There are plans to potentially open more outlets in the Castro and Fillmore by the end of the year, something spokesperson Mario Estrada confirmed to SF Weekly. In an intriguing aside, we were told that the company's headquarters may move offices to Potrero from Berkeley, too.

On that, Estrada said, "Eventually we may need to figure out a new HQ location, but no word on that yet."

The light-filled space has a lot of eye candy that may seem familiar: pretty floral arrangements, buttery pastries (from Mission Beach Cafe), big windows, blonde wood, and shiny things to buy. It helps that warm scents of coffee beans and vanilla add an enticing yet subtle perfume. Here’s a tidy space where everything is in order — my fellow neatniks may feel both calm and seduced by so many organization visuals. A handful of tall, camera-toting customers who looked and dressed like models were mulling things over by the windows as we checked out the drink menu. Their friendliness and charm as they talked to each other helped make things look even better, a sort of living advertisement for the highly caffeinated life.

I'm thirsty for caffeine news sent to: writereadeat (at) gmail

Artís Coffee, 537 Octavia, 415-655-3576.

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Mary Ladd


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