One of the things I enjoy most about San Francisco is our coffee culture. We San Franciscans love coffee and have the coffee shops to prove it. Many moons ago, Folgers was founded in here, and Hills Bros Coffee was launched in San Francisco in 1878; their original building on the embarcadero is recognized as a city landmark. Since that time, San Francisco has become deadly serious about coffee. It all begins with a great roast, and most coffee shops now elect to brew roast their own.
All cities boast "coffee" shops, but San Francisco takes it a step further. In some cities, a coffee shop is a place to hang out, a place to get a bite to eat. Here in San Francisco, the coffee is the primary focus, with many coffee shops focusing heavily on the craft of roasting, some featuring multiple brewing techniques; featuring some of the rarest lots of beans from the world over.
Now, not all our coffee shops are this intense, but like with so many things, we are a city that has something for everyone. Below is a listing of some of my favorite places in the city to really soak in our coffee culture.
Four Barrel: This place is sort of the Fight Club of coffee shops and I love it. The staff has been here since day one and is genuinely friendly. They now also have a second coffee bar where they focus on more complicated brewing techniques and some one-cup at a time stuff. Shit is expensive, but I think it's worth it.
Ritual: They recently went from press pots to one cup at a time and the coffee may be a little "cleaner" than before but no less tasty. The laptop/my bike is outside crowd is a little much for me, but this place was sort of a flagship of legit coffee. Terrible pastry situation though—shame.