These warm, humid days making you drowsy? Well, you’re in luck, because here are four new cafés around town to help perk you up, plus a tea bar that has a bit of a coffee geek sensibility, so we’re including that too.
Over in Embarcadero Four is this new kind of coffee shop from some pros in the biz: Robert Myers, one of the founders of Highwire Coffee Roasters and Modern Coffee in the East Bay, and Gabriel Boscana, previously a buyer at Sightglass Coffee. Their mission is to serve coffee in a friendly manner, and to offer five single-origin coffees that all represent a different flavor profile (they roast off-site). Another thing they’re doing is batch-brewing the coffee, so you don’t have to lose precious time in the morning waiting for a pour-over (we know, you’re late for your meeting). There’s also an espresso and decaf coffee too. There’s a counter where you can perch, or grab a table just outside. 4 Embarcadero Center, off Drumm Street and the Sacramento alley
Ooh, sounds sexy. Actually, the name refers to the nautical navigation device, but the smell of roasting coffee could also end up helping you find your way to the front door of this SoMa café. Owner Kinani Ahmed (of Jebena Coffee and Nile Café) is roasting Ethiopian beans, which is where he’s from. Since there’s plenty of room to hang out and linger, including a back patio, there are café comforts like pastries and WiFi. 1415 Folsom St. at 10th St.
Anyone who lives in Bayview—or pedals nearby—will want to stop by this friendly neighborhood shop that doubles as a bike shop too. The owners are keeping things local, with coffee from Ubuntu in Emeryville. The food options are pretty extensive, with a variety of sandwiches (including breakfast ones), pastries, sweets, and more, featuring many local Bayview businesses. And if you’re looking for a bike, they sell a bunch of refurbished ones, accessories, and help with repairs too. 634 3rd St. at Newcomb
Special Xtra 2
Are you a fan of the amazing Macau Iced Coffee from Special Xtra, the café kiosk at Harlot in SoMa (at 46 Minna)? Don’t know about it? It’s what you need in your life right now: a milky iced coffee drink made with espresso, whole milk, and cane sugar syrup, oh yeah. So now there’s a second Special Xtra kiosk where you can score this drink and other Blue Bottle Coffee drinks—and just like the original, it’s open during the day in a bar space (John Colins). Bring cash. 138 Minna St. at New Montgomery
Okay, so this is a tea shop, but the experience is so cool that we’re going to include it; it’s a bit like a coffee bar for tea drinkers—a place to get your tea and go (there aren’t tables where you’d hang out). Samovar founder Jesse Jacobs is trying to take tea to the third wave, with beautifully sourced tea (five in all) made to order in modern tea-brewing crucible machines (green tea lovers will want to try the Green Ecstasy, a blend of matcha and sencha). There’s also spiced masala chai ladled from copper urns, cold-brewed iced teas, and matcha shots (and shakes). The monochromatic space is modern and oh-so Zen. 411 Valencia St. at 15th St.
Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and get more food news and gossip at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.