The Year in Food: Coffee Seeps Farther

Twelve months, ten storylines: It's SFoodie's annual look back at the year in food.

In San Francisco, it's still all too easy to get a crappy cup of coffee. But the walking distance between the average San Franciscan and a good cup shortened noticeably this year. Barefoot, Four Barrel, Ecco, and De La Paz coffees are showing up at more cafes and restaurants around town, while Blue Bottle is beginning to loosen its too-tight grip on who sells its coffee. The year-old Sightglass began roasting its own beans this summer, and at the very end of the year, Contraband Coffee, another roaster-cafe, started up in Polk Gulch/Russian Hill.

By the end of 2010, it has gotten noticeably easier to compare local roasters' beans side by side. Markets such as Bi-Rite, Rainbow, and Other Avenues now have wide selections (Bi-Rite's is particularly impressive). The variety on sale can come at a cost; some of the beans SFoodie spotted on recent shopping trips were roasted back when Christine O'Donnell was still running “I am not a witch” ads on TV. In addition, Ma*velous opened on Market and Fell, with six different methods for brewing coffee and beans from three roasters, including a cult Norwegian microroaster whose coffees are only available on Ma*Velous's siphon bar. 

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