Best Coffee: Most fervently religious cup of organic joe
Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
A line of pre-coffee morning shoppers can be an ugly thing, even in the smiley-face mellow of the Berkeley Farmers' Market. Just like at church, most folks waiting for a pokey drip cup of Blue Bottle Bella Donovan blend are fervently trying to get right. The Oakland roaster's coffees have become icons for aficionados of the pristine. But without a proper shop, the Blue Bottle faithful must queue up at farmers' market carts drip only on Saturdays in Berkeley, espresso only on Tuesdays in Berkeley, and both on Sundays in Temescal. Market-only access gives owner James Freeman's quirky brand a nomadic charm. Except for the Yemen, it's all certified organic. And although the beans don't have official fair-trade certification, Freeman practices what he calls responsible sourcing. The milk is Clover organic, the sugar is Trader Joe's organic, and the plywood drip rack is stained with a lovely patina of use just like a junkie's spoon.