Brown Owl Brings Microroasting to Parkside

Ariana Akbar originally wanted to open a flower shop. But even as the trained florist was working out the plans, she was roasting her own coffee and making a lot of espresso at home. Soon the project became a combination flower shop and cafe, then a mobile cafe ― the city's expensive street-food permits scuttled those plans ― and finally just a cafe, which she opened up on Taraval five weeks ago.

Akbar is now working at Brown Owl Coffee every day, wearying of the long hours but not the coffee. The cafe is spare and charming, with banquettes and tables made out of reclaimed wood and shelves stocked with mosaics, stuffed pillows made by the mother of her partner, James, and packets of coffee beans.

The microroaster revolution has taken a while to filter out to western San Francisco; with the exception of  Trouble Coffee and Outerlands up on Judah, great coffee isn't easy to come by in the Outer Sunset. Brown Owl has a Marzocco for espresso drinks and uses a Clever dripper to do pourover cups. The pastries all come from local bakeries. And the coffee? Roasted in house.

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