Simply put, coffee is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I’m in love with every part of it: the ritual, the smell, the habit and, of course, the taste. I seek out coffee and identify a go-to-coffee shop wherever I go — the Arab world is a given, of course. But there’s Colombia, Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Japan (with its pour-over coffee!), oh and of course I forgot Turkey and Greece.
In San Francisco, I’m lucky to be able to escape Starbucks’ mediocrity. Strabucks has made coffee drinkers out of people who don’t drink coffee, luring them with sweetened syrups and seasonal iced coffees drenched with sugar and artificial flavors. In SF, one is in coffee haven — indulging in spectacular roasts from thriving local roasteries. There’s Ritual, Four Barrel, Philz, Sightglass, and of course, Blue Bottle. I’m a Blue Bottle gal. The roasts are my favorite.
Most people believe that coffee is and should be bitter — because most people get exposed to drip coffee that sits around on a heater all day — which makes the coffee even more bitter, taking over any other flavor that may be in the beans. I mean, there is always some element of bitterness in coffee but with good coffee you have it mixed with all kinds of other flavors — sometimes chocolatey, sometimes smokey like bbq, and sometimes spicy. Coffee is meant to be made one cup at a time. I have the pleasure of enjoying a cup of home-brewed, Blue Bottle roasted cappuccino every AM, compliments of Khaled! K starts out with a bag of fresh 17 ft Ceiling espresso roast, described by the Blue Bottle folks: ‘…like flipping through the New Yorker – edifying without being taxing.’ Only second to the actual taste of it, the most amazing thing about the AM Cappuccino is witnessing the ritual of making it.