It took a moment for me to dig up an online version, but here it is. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the March 2006 issue of Food & Wine Magazine has a special report on coffee: An Obsessive’s Guide to Coffee | Food & Wine.
The editors apparently “spent 410 man-hours tasting 157 coffees and testing 67 coffeemakers (not to mention 10 grinders) to find the best of the best.” However, as this writer can tell you with ample first-hand evidence, that’s just scratching the surface.
Take their Top U.S. Coffee Bars list. It includes a number of the “usual suspects”. But there are many conspicuous absences. They include Ritual Roasters in their raves. Yet they fail to even mention Ritual’s root inspiration and idols: Stumptown Coffee of Portland, OR (though they do mention their coffee, but not the café, in the print version of the article).
I sense that they never veered off the beaten path in major U.S. cities. Honolulu Coffee Company? Never heard of it. This explains other notable omissions, even for just the Bay Area, such as Barefoot Roasters of San Jose and Flying Goat of Healdsburg and Santa Rosa. And while Metropolis Coffee Company in Chicago makes a very good espresso, they aren’t in the same class as Café Organica right here in San Francisco proper.
And before you attempt to make the argument that their list weights a café’s ambiance, Blue Bottle Coffee on Linden St. has the ambiance of a garage sale.
Some of the other categories where they list their favorites include: The Best Drip Machines, Go-To Grinders (my Mazzer Mini thanks them for the honor), and The Best Espresso Machines.
I’m glad to see that F&W sought out 1st-line Equipment for some of their espresso equipment. It still disappoints me that so-called gourmet shops, such as Williams-Sonoma, consider themselves to be purveyors of “high end” home espresso equipment, and yet they sell nothing I would consider buying for myself.
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