Coffee is as universal a beverage as you can find in this country, and yet countless special interest groups seem to identify with coffee as it were their own exclusive thing. This identification may have a lot to do with a modern culture that values hype and hyperactivity — and associates that most with caffeine and coffee. As for exclusivity, who isn’t subject to today’s active lifestyles? Perhaps there is nothing more quintessentially American than a mass market of people who all somehow believe that they are uniquely different from each other.
For example, take the ubiquitous dot-com and tech industry workers in the region: the Bay Area’s equivalent of the Detroit auto worker. These folks (and I’m one of them) are marinating in tiresome coffee-themed product and technology names. It’s gotten so bad, there’s even a joke product name generator on the Web that has a coffee-themed option.
We’ve also written previously about the whole velo set — i.e., bicyclists who lay claim to coffee as their official beverage. But espresso bars show up in the strangest of places these days: laundromats, video stores, runners shops, bicycle shops, motorcycle shops, gardening supply stores, pirate radio stations, churches, kinky erotic shops, and now we have the comic book store.
We can only see the coming wave of espresso bars in yarn shops/knitting stores, Bikram yoga studios, nail salons, and pet shops with doggie espresso bars for Fifi. We already have political activists now calling themselves the Coffee Party. With the baseline standards of up-and-coming coffee shops reaching a recent plateau in quality, perhaps the best way for a new one to differentiate themselves and garner attention is to now fetishize it.
This comic book store and espresso bar sits several doors south of the California unemployment office on Mission St. They offer seating among several benches outside along Mission St. Inside there are several old, diner-style small tables and chairs. Plus a lot of plastic-wrapped comic books.
Besides the racks of comics and toys, there’s a two-group La Marzocco GB/5 at the front counter with Four Barrel beans for sale on the side. They pull espresso shots with the Friendo Blendo blend, and here they do a very good job with it: a healthy, darker brown layer of crema and a strong brightness to the cup (which is actually made of glass and metal). It tastes of some wood, spice, and pepper blended with earthier notes. One of the better Four Barrel shots served outside the mothership.
Read the review of the Caffeinated Comics Company.
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