Monday, January 16, 2012

CC: De La Paz

Location: San Francisco, CA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 6+ [see key]

There have been countless times when my travel plans and coffeehouse hours have not lined up. Usually late afternoons, nights and holidays play the culprit, though it always seems to be a weird mix of factors (the owners are getting married on a Wednesday). But sometimes I wander into a blessed form of a Bermuda Triangle where all the factors line up and the timing becomes perfect.

Such it was with De La Paz Coffee Roasters. I managed to find some time to show up during the small window of Friday between 8 AM - 1 PM, the only time this roaster's soon-to-be-coffee-bar serves up coffee and espresso to the masses. The space would be hard to spot from the street were it not for the street sign, but since they seem to want to move in the direction of a speak-easy-like bar setting (one that serves amazing coffee and espresso), it seemed fitting. 

Inside the atmosphere was basic, more utilitarian then it was inviting (it's under construction), but the mood of the De La Paz-ians more then compensated. Few places held such a jovial nature; there were folks from Sightglass (literally, the coffee roaster around the corner) hanging out and shooting the breeze with their "competition" (a beautiful instance of comradery rarely seen in most industries). I was quickly greeted upon my entering in a friendly manner, though also given my space to peruse and acclimate.

I finally settled on their Oscillations blend for some espresso and a pourover of La Violeta, a micro lot from Costa Rica's  Finca El Llano in Tarrazu. The Violeta proved delicious, with notes of lager, peanut, caramel, a little hyacinth, spinach and pinch of lemon zest amidst a medium body. The espresso also gave a stand up performance, with the flavors of almond, butter, tangerine, wheat thins and sage performing amidst a short pull with brown crema.

Apparently their new digs are due to open up in February, so if you happen to live in the Bay area or you plan to visit, keep your Friday AM open if you go pre-opening.

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