For Roasters & Retailers

Is Coffee Tourism A Thing?

If foodie-trips and wine-travel are hot trends, could coffee-treks be far behind? Lonely Planet clearly thinks so. The travel site’s new “Global Coffee Tour” book (Lonely Planet, $20) offers a taster’s guide to java experiences around the world, from the Impero Bar in Asmara’s art deco district in Eritrea to Wolfpack Coffee Roasters in Sydney, Australia. It’s a fun book for coffee lovers, the type of thing you’d give as a gift — preferably with a pound of some esoteric beans.

Of course, we immediately turned to the San Francisco section, where Lonely Planet suggests checking out Bay Area fave, Philz Coffee, as well as Ritual Roasters, Sightglass Coffee and Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters.

Part of the fun lies in seeing the Lonely Planet editors’ suggestions for what else to do besides sip, say, Wrecking Ball’s iced cappuccino, which floats a hot layer of steamed milk over a creamy hot coffee base. “The sensation,” the book says, “is akin to jumping out of a hot tub and into a pool.”

San Francisco’s Wrecking Ball is at 2271 Union St., so the book suggests checking out Fort Mason Center, the McElroy Octagon House and two restaurants, Gamine and Blackwood, while you’re in the neighborhood..

And if you’ve already mastered the art of cold brew and nitro brew, the book offers a two-page spread with some eclectic variations on the java theme, including Finland and Sweden’s Kaffeost, which drops cubes of cheese into that hot cup of joe, and Indonesia’s Kopi Joss, a coffee drink served with glowing charcoal. In the cup. Yes, really.

The book also offers up “top five” lists of specific coffees for various regions around the world. So if you’re wondering where the heck Blue Bottle is on that San Francisco Bay Area coffee list, it’s right here on the book’s list of the top five U.S. coffees:

  1. Stumptown’s Hair Bender
  2. Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Classic Espresso
  3. Counter Culture’s Apollo
  4. Devocion’s Wild Forest
  5. Blue Bottle’s Three Africans

The book is available on the site, Amazon and through other booksellers.



By Jackie Burrell, East Bay Times


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