Next week should be a good one for trying new things. Two (two!) exciting new coffee venues will be opening--or should, at least--both of which are continuing to push quality beans out from the center of the city. Contraband Coffee Bar looks like it is finally set to open (we hope), while Ma*Velous, which had an opening party last week, should open as well.
Contraband Coffee Bar, the long-awaited new cafe at Larkin and California from Josh Magnani of Mission Beach Cafe, seems like it might finally be set to open. A teasing note on the Contraband Facebook page promises "Someone bet me $10 I couldn't open the week of November 8. I never lose a bet." Bold!
But we're looking forward to it whenever it happens. Not only will the cafe be a bright spot in a neighborhood that could use more quality coffee options, but it is rumored to have a Synesso Hydra espresso machine.
The Hydra should be a big draw for coffee geeks to go check out. It follows the pressure profiling trend, which lets baristas vary the amount of pressure that goes into making any given shot. The idea is that it allows for customizing a shot to bring out unique flavors, which makes it ideal for, say, pulling shots of single origin and seasonal espressos. The kind-of-famous Slayer is likely the best-known example of a pressure profiling machine.
And on Market at 10th, Ma*Velous should be a stunning addition to the San Francisco coffee scene. The new coffee and wine bar from Phillip Ma is likewise going to offer a crazy array of options for getting your drink on. Ma's bar will be pouring from Hario V60, Chemex, French press, siphon/vac pot, and Kyoto-style iced coffee. They've also got a one-of-a-kind tricked out four group La Marzocco. It, too, will offer pressure and temperature profiling.
Even better, Ma*Velous will be running some amazing coffee through those machines. It will offer Intelligentsia and Ecco Caffe (see 7x7's profile of Ecco's Andrew Barnett) as well as beans from Norwegian roaster Tim Wendelboe. While the former two are likely familiar, the latter may not be. But Tim Wendelboe coffees have a big cult following inside the coffee industry. At what became a legendary cupping put together by Home Barista earlier this year, the Tim Wendelboe coffees did very well against extremely high quality competition. Ma will also offer small batch coffees from other roasters on occasion.
I'm thrilled about both of these places, which will be really exciting additions to the city. Look for a trip report next week.
Update: Ma*Velous notes that it will likely be open next week by Wednesday, but is still waiting on approval from the city on a few key permits before that can happen.