With some apprehension built up over more than 40 years, I brought the chocolate-colored coffee cup up to my lips and dove in – joining the 100 million Americans who grab a cup of Joe every day.
The first sip was like a jolt. The slightly bitter flavor of the coffee blending with the milk in my latte wasn’t what I expected. (For some reason I was hoping for melted coffee ice cream flavor.) But within seconds, I felt a surge in energy, that jolt of adrenalin coffee drinkers live for.
For the next few seconds, I felt like I could wrestle with a gunman on top of a moving train ala Daniel Craig in “Skyfall.” Then the rush subsided to the calm of the drinking experience as I sipped my latte to the final drop.
Coffee cherry popped
I may seem like an anomaly, but I resisted drinking coffee since I stole a sip at age 7 from my father’s breakfast cup of instant Taster’s Choice. The bitter flavor turned me off coffee, and as an adult I decided I didn’t need that extra boost of caffeine.
A true tea lover, I did feel like I missed out on the coffee culture of cafes and wi-fi. While others got their half-soy, cinnamon-flavored macchiato, I settled for whatever generic brand tea bags a café offered instead. While I enjoyed the aroma of coffee – and love all coffee-related desserts – I avoided the real black juice.
But you see, 2013 is a significant year for me. I’m celebrating a milestone birthday, and so I’ve fallen into the cliché of a man chasing backwards the many things that I haven’t done in life and needed to do now as I live the “if not now, then when?” mantra.
Why Sightglass Coffee Bar & Roastery?
San Francisco is enjoying a boon in small-batch, artisan coffee roasters. So how did I end up at Sightglass, the latest independent coffee company from brothers Jerad and Justin Morrison?
I had bought some Sightglass coffee beans late last year as a gift for my brother-in-law, who is a regular coffee drinker. Walking into the Sightglass Coffee Bar in SOMA, I enjoyed the industrial vibe brightened by natural light.
The coffee bar, which opened last year, is your typical hipster hangout, with young couples dressed in street-smart style. The spacious coffee bar features a 1961 Probat roaster from Germany in the front, surrounded by a curving bar.
So I decided this would be the perfect setting for my first cup of coffee. The coffee menu features cups made from Sightglass’ Owl’s Howl espresso beans, and customers can pair their coffee with pastries and baked goods from Piccino. I ordered a latte because I knew I needed something to soften the bitterness of coffee, plus I wanted to see that pretty swirl my barista would undoubtedly make on top.
Not quite hooked
Even though drinking the latte wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be (I did have to add a tablespoon of sugar) and a poppy seed muffin did help, I can’t say I’ve converted to a regular coffee drinker. I may try other coffee here and there (what exactly is a cappuccino?), but I still enjoy the nuanced flavors of tea and will probably continue to find my coffee fix in ice cream and cakes.
Sightglass Coffee Bar & Roastery, 270 Seventh St. (at Folsom), San Francisco. PH: 415.861.1313. Open Mon.–Sat., 7 a.m.–7 p.m.; and Sun., 8 a.m.–7 p.m. sightglasscoffee.com
While I didn’t totally fall in love with coffee drinking, I did love the Sightglass Coffee Bar space. So much so that I snapped a few pictures of the space in between sips, and created this latest slideshow below. As always, you can find this and other slideshows in my Exhibits section.
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