list of bay area coffee shops – with a bay area coffee map

here’s my subjective ranking of the best espresso/coffee in the san francisco bay area, complete with a google map.

[googlemap width=”640″ height=”480″ src=”,-122.306671&spn=0.2689835,0.371824&z=11&output=embed”]

key: more crema = better.  empty cup =  not so good.  Sorry about the funky anti-aliasing.



not bad:

drinkable but not pleasant:

  • farley’s (san francisco/oakland/emervyille, farley’s blend from sunshine? in san leandro)  Recently had a not good one from the 65th st emeryville location.  doh.
  • peerless (oakland, peerless)
  • woody’s cafe (oakland, ?)
  • crepevine (oakland/berkeley, ?)
  • riva (berkeley, ?)
  • starbucks (starbucks)
  • peets (peets)
  • uncommon grounds cafe (berkeley, uncommon grounds)

not drinkable:

  • none yet.  Maybe I have a high tolerance?

credit for working the google maps/wordpress hack: if you want to try this, don’t forget to add the &embed at the end of your link.

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Cafe Gabriela, Oakland, CA

Cafe Gabriela (988 Broadway Oakland, CA) is located downtown right off of Broadway.  The California Bar exam was being administered the day that I went and I got in just before a rush of test-takers came in for a break.

The Blue Bottle espresso was pretty good, but didn’t have the same combination of flavors that I’ve come to expect.  I feel that I’m terrible at describing nuances and undertones in coffee flavor, but here I tasted a buttery ristretto with a bit of tang, a prevailing smoky flavor with a bit of marshmallow.  I didn’t enjoy the coffee as much as the shots that come from the blue bottle people themselves.

blue bottle espresso at cafe gabriela

I also purchased a pork adobo sandwich which was predictably salty and pretty good.  They’d originally given away my sandwich by mistake – I think one of the bar takers picked up my sandwich instead of waiting for their own.

pork adobo sandwich at cafe gabriela

nuovo point demitasse double ristretto

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