If you’re just looking for a place to buy coffee beans, you can find them in just about every place that sells coffee of any kind. You can also buy them off the internet, in a range of vendors nearly as broad.
What if you’re a real coffee snob and want to find just the right place that roasts its own beans in just that particular way to produce just the right beverage for you? In a lot of places, you’ve got few options.
San Francisco isn’t one of them. With the large number of people living not just in it, but in Oakland, Berkeley, and other neighboring cities, and with its particular flavor and culture, it’s full of choices. We took a look at a few of the best to help you find the best places to buy coffee beans.
There’s only one place master coffee roaster Henry Kalebjian roasts beans, and it’s in the roasting house that’s had his name for decades. Ample parking makes it easy to stop by for a cup from a broad menu and signature Armenian pastries. The beans are roasted right there on the premises, so if you have something you enjoy, you can take a bag of them home to try making it yourself.
One thing we like about Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters is the number of locations you can find. If you’re a visitor, a new transplant to the area, or just plain too busy to get to a particular spot, if you want a bag of Wrecking Ball coffee, you’ve got three easy-to-find options. Something else you’ll like is the broad menu of coffee drinks and unique pastries to go with them.
Flywheel is known for its strong, reasonably-priced coffees. Going there to get a bag of beans is an invitation to spend a couple of hours with a great book in an atmosphere cultivated for enjoying a cup. Aquiles Guerrero’s lifetime coffee experience combined with a convenient location make Flywheel a great choice for buying coffee beans.
A bit outside San Francisco is our Editor’s Choice for the best bag, Chromatic Coffee Co.’s Jose Maria’s Dark Roast. Coffee is subjective, so it’s hard to make that choice, but this one combined versatility, overall flavor, and value. The rest of Chromatic’s line is great, too, and if you need something to take the edge off a caffeine buzz, the café also offers beer.
If you just want beans and don’t have time for atmosphere, Verve Coffee Roasters is a great choice. The Market Street location is one of several around the Pacific Rim. The great thing is that some of its coffees are available through Amazon, so you can shop for them while also perusing screwdrivers, chaise lounges, and bass lures.
Ritual sells its coffees at six locations throughout San Francisco, giving you a lot of options for where to get its beans. The company was one of the pioneers in the movement to turn coffee from a mass-produced caffeine delivery vehicle into something that can be savored. It remains one of the leaders in that movement today.
One thing you’ll like when you step into Saint Frank Coffee is that you’re greeted by the smell of roasting beans. It’s a great introduction to its coffees, which specialize in dark roasts. The coffees are meticulously sourced, so you know you’re getting sustainable beans. Find these coffees at any of the four locations, including one at the offices of Facebook.
Based in Los Angeles, Klatch Coffee offers beans at a price powered by a bigger company’s volume purchasing. Even though it’s got several locations throughout California, it’s still a family business, so its San Francisco location doesn’t have that sterile, corporate feel to it. You can buy your beans whole or ground.
Another multi-location coffee roasting company, Andytown Coffee Roasters, doesn’t roast beans on-site but does have a café next to that facility. You might like the ambiance of its locations because they’re designed to remind you of your grandmother’s kitchen. It’s homey, comfortable, and there’s always something delicious cooking. Bags come with a “Roasted On” date so you know they’re fresh.
Snowbird Coffee isn’t the most unique coffee experience you’ll have, which we think is one of its strong points. For some people, and some times, there is such a thing as too much personality. Snowbird is newer on the scene, so stopping by to get a bag of its beans means that if it’s around for a couple of decades, you were one of the first to drink there.
Compact and homey is a great way to describe how Simple Pleasures roasts its beans and sells its product. Sometimes it’s not about the curated atmosphere, but just about roasting and selling great coffee beans. You won’t need a different language to navigate the choices here, just a desire to get a great bag of beans.
Picking the best of anything related to coffee is a highly subjective thing. Our list was based on a wide range of factors, from the ease of access to quality of bean to places you can go if you aren’t interested in curated atmosphere. You can either take our list as a guide for must-go places or a starting point for your journey. Either way, have fun!
Featured image credit: rebeccafay, Pixabay
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