Where to Taste the Future of Bay Area Coffee
The Bay Area has been a significant player in the growth of specialty coffee in the U.S., but it has always been predominantly white. This shift has been accelerated by homegrown businesses founded by people of color, such as Philz Coffee, Red Bay Coffee, and Grand Coffee. These businesses have expanded into four cultural groups: Asian, Yemeni, Ethiopian, and Latino. Each group offers specific drinks that draw from the flavors of their respective culture, often mixed with fresh fruit juices, herbs, and spices to unlock a world of flavor.
Outset Coffee in San Francisco offers fruit-flavored coffee, while Lacàphê in San Jose offers custard-topped coffee. Oak-Dar in Oakland pairs ginger with java. Berraco Coffee in Cupertino exclusively uses Colombian coffees, Sextant primarily highlights Ethiopian coffees, and Proyecto Diaz focuses on Mexican coffees.
This changing face of specialty coffee has been in the making for a long time, with the international nature of coffee being overlooked by Americans. The success of places like Not Latte in San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood has revealed a demand for drinks catering to Asian communities, while the boom of spiced Yemeni coffee has also fueled a thirst for new coffee types. Pop-ups like Calaca Coffee and Paper Son Coffee use familiar Latino and Asian flavors to create a more approachable vision of coffee for everyone.
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Source: Coffee Talk