The only way to learn about coffee is to try it. A lot of it. But that's a hard thing to do, especially if you want to branch out beyond local Bay Area stuff. So it was a real thrill when Chris Tacy organized a cupping (basically a formal tasting) with some ridiclously good and diverse coffees from a wide variety of roasters. We cupped twelve in all, from Blue Bottle, Ecco, Four Barrel, Intelligentsia, Sightglass and Stumptown. It was a pretty sick table. But I was particularly interested to see how the locals would stack up against Stumptown and Intelli. How did they do?
This is what amazes me about San Francisco: The fact that when I meet people for the first time, more often than not they know more about food or drink than I do. On the food obsession radar, it turns out, I score shockingly low. One of my neighbors regularly helps his friend to throw 12 person, nine-course meals. Another of my friends hunts for morels and has made his own cheese. Another one hauled a sate grill back from Thailand in his suitcase.