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.

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