Must be a light news day for the SF Chronicle to pull out an evergreen story like this today: Exploring our love of the bean from the grounds up. But while the Chronical [sic] has published up to 70% of the material in previous articles, the article provides a worthy (albeit brief) examination of SF’s coffee history — a history that we often reference and yet few locals may know about.
For example, there’s the Gold Rush origins of Folgers and Hills Bros. There’s Caffé Trieste and the birth of the SF cappuccino in the 1950s. There’s Peet’s Coffee & Tea‘s Berkeley origins from 1966 and their influence on a budding Seattle retail coffee company known as Starbucks. And of course there are obligatory nods to the city’s nouvelle vague roasters — plus a couple of redeemable restaurant coffee options.
Though perhaps our favorite reference is a 1963 SF Chronicle headline sensationally highlighting the sad state of SF restaurant coffee. (But perhaps not sensational enough to make Hearst proud.) Within six years we were able to put men on the moon, and yet 46 years later most restaurant coffee in this city is still rather terrifying.
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