San Francisco Coffee Scene Heats Up

Next-gen roasters brew plans to tap premium market
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted May 16, 2008 6:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Plans for tapping the premium coffee market are percolating in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Chronicle reports in an in-depth look at the new generation of roasters. Emphasizing freshness and preparation, next-gen roasters are building Northwest-inspired businesses that offer patrons ground-to-order $8 cups, or $9-$11 pots prepared by a $20,000 halogen-powered siphon from Japan.

"A lot of people say, 'I love this city, but the coffee is kind of over-roasted and the barista techniques aren't up to par,'" says a transplant from Oregon. Inspired by the local and Slow Food movements, some recent entrants specialize in small-batch, uber-fresh, carefully sourced coffee: One company even stops selling beans 48 hours after they're roasted.