Yesterday, part of the imperialist publishing expansion of Forbes magazine, posted an article of their votes for the “10 Hottest Coffeehouses” in the country: Best Coffeehouses | To hear it in their words: “We polled industry experts and coffee connoisseurs nationwide to find out where the best espresso artisans are serving up their creations. See for yourself in our slide show of America’s Best Independent Coffeehouses.”

Several years ago, financial magazines backed by Wall Street’s stodgiest cigar smokers, such as Forbes and Smart Money, started reviewing and recommending mp3 players, lawnmowers, dentists, and now coffee places. (I am not making this up.) I have been stupefied by and suspicious of them ever since. Like I want my neighborhood barista to give me a macchiato with some estate planning advice on the side.

But it does appear that their “American Espresso Idol” competition did cull together a list of the usual suspects. Their slideshow highlights, in order, Seattle’s Zoka, SF’s Ritual Roasters, Portland’s Stumptown, SF’s Blue Bottle, New York’s Gimme!, NY’s Café Grumpy, Milwaukee’s Alterra Coffee Roasters, Chicago/LA’s Intelligentsia, Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Roasters, and Portland’s Albina Press.

Unfortunately, it appears we still have to wait for Forbes to introduce centerfolds of hedge fund managers, complete with their own “Data Sheet” listing their likes and dislikes in the world of high-powered specialty coffee beverages. Until then, this will have to do.