Nope, it’s not Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t pretend to be cool or special. It knows it isn’t. It’s these other places that think that they are good, yet their coffee sucks so badly:
1. Coffee Bar – their coffee is disgusting. No matter how large the congregation of the white doucherati “professionals” is inside and outside of that store on Montgomery, their coffee still tastes like hot, bitter water. I do like their cold, sterile brown-on-white decor, though, because it matches the flavor of their clientele.
2. Esspressamente – a seemingly cool place with a wanna-be Italian vibe is destined to perish as hardly anyone goes there. I am sure that the main reason for this is not so much their overpriced salads and sandwiches, but the revolting taste of their coffee. When you go to a place like this, your expectations from coffee are inherently high, but you are bound to be grossly disappointed after the very first sip.
3. Prima Cosa at the Embarcadero Center – same as Esspressamente.
Runner Up: Specialty’s – I like Specialty’s. Sure, their cookies have a million calories, and their soups are 50% butter, but their stores are comfortable, and they have good and fast service. Too bad the coffee tastes diluted.