Bon Jugement or Bon Appétit?Bon Appétite‘s January 2010 issue steps into the fray by naming their top 10 boutique coffee shops: Top 10 Boutique Coffee Shops: In the Magazine : bonappetit.com. Making their list is SF’s Four Barrel Coffee.

But before anyone gets too excited, it’s worth noting that Bon Appétit is a sausage factory for Internet-friendly “Top 10″ lists that lack any explanation, rhyme or reason behind their choices. Bon Appétit describes itself as “a food and entertaining magazine” with a heavy bias towards recipes. And as we’ve often stated about many a coffee book published over the previous decades: if it needs a recipe, it’s not coffee.

On the one hand, another culinary reference that lends coffee some of the legitimacy it deserves is a good thing. But on the other hand, in the absence of any stated objective criteria, the names may just as well have been pulled out of a hat. Truth be told, bon appétit unfortunately does not imply bon jugement.