SFO to PDX first time traveler

I’m proud to call San Francisco my home. After 25 years of walking around the streets, mingling with the people, and eating the food, I’d like to think that I’m pretty well-versed in San Franciscan culture, although I’m not entirely sure if San Francisco culture is something you inherit or just pick up. Maybe it oozes off on you after you’ve been here a few years.

…but some days I wake up and I don’t recognize my own city

This isn’t to say that I know what’s going on in my own city though, especially in these current times. Just because I remember and know it in my way as a San Francisco native who has seen his fair share of change doesn’t mean I can describe the huge shift in things right now as they unfold. I’m not even sure what to call it, but some days I wake up and I don’t recognize my own city. Call it what you want – gentrification, entitlement, tech empires rising, the millennial invasionSan Francisco just doesn’t feel the same and it’s pretty confused as to what it wants to become.

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able brewing reuse

able brewing logo

 

I was over at Artis Coffee Roasters (twitter) in Berkeley a few weeks ago and discovered a company that I’d never heard of. For those of you who have never heard of Artis, I encourage you to look them up and go visit for yourself. I thought it was a neat concept because of the live-roast coffee that they do: right in front of you. It was my third time visiting. The first time, I went to get a demo of their super-cool, futuristic machines and the second time I went just to get a nice flat white and to do some writing – I was in the area already anyway.

While I was thinking about what to order, I stood right by the Aeropress section of the store and happened to see disk coffee filter made by Able Brewing (twitter). My dear friend had gotten me an Aeropress last year and I’ve since then fallen in love with it – it brews a mean cup. The Aeropress, combined with Perfect Coffee, and the disk filter from Able Brewing is unstoppable. It’s easy to clean, works like a charm, and is reusable. I invested $15 for something I can use over and over again. From the looks of it, Able Brewing is doing some great work and coming up with excellent products.

sextant coffee roasters the place to be

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. There’s no shortage of coffee shops in San Francisco, but a new one just opened up and I wanted to take a look – Sextant Coffee Roasters. The setup reminds me a lot of Flywheel in the Haight and I just love the decor. I ordered a macchiato and it was amazing – just the way I like it. The vibe though; that’s to die for. I love the meld of brick and wood. The little roaster in the back lit up in the afternoon sun, with the tables and chairs all lined up neatly against the brick wall. I could sit there all day with a notebook and pen, deep in thought and I will, one of these days.

a film about coffee drink of ages

A Film About CoffeeOn June 3rd, I found myself amongst a vast sea of assorted button-ups, coffee cups, and mustaches. I never thought that the smell of popcorn and the smell of coffee would work together, but for some reason, it left me with a supreme hunger for both of them at the same time.

I had the pleasure of settling down on the balcony of the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco to watch A Film About Coffee. I had caught wind of the trailer about three or four months ago and immediately knew I wanted to watch this film, regardless of format. I signed up for their newsletter, which you should also do here, and right when they announced a screening in San Francisco about a month ago, I jumped online and bought a pair of tickets. The first trailer I watched had reeled me in with it’s intense imagery of a beverage I love so much. On a slow day, I drink about two cups, so it really has become a ritual – that’s why I looked forward to it and had relatively high expectations for it. As a plus, the film features a lot of my beloved San Francisco roasters. I’m glad I made it to the showing, because it not only met my expectations, but exceeded them across the board, leaving me with a greater appreciation and understanding of coffee.

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another coffee infographic coffee rocks

Global CoffeeHere’s an infographic by Coffee for Less that’ll get your brain juices flowing. I found this startling because I always thought the United States was a big coffee consumer, but, as it turns out, we rank pretty low on that front. Just take a look at Finland! That’s quite startling. Another thing that surprised me was that the average monthly spending on coffee for San Jose is $34, beating out San Francisco at $30.

Breakfast at Front

Coffee and vegan spiced cake from Front in San Francisco.

Coffee and vegan spiced cake from Front in San Francisco.

I had a tough weekend and woke up late for work and decided to drive instead of sitting on the bus. In the end, I arrived in the area way earlier than expected and hopped off the highway toward Front. The espresso + milk is amazing and the folks know their coffee. Something else caught my eye: the vegan spiced cake and I got that, simply because I didn’t want to fuss with granola and milk.