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7:30 a.m. Every Day: Best Micro-roasted Coffee 

Blue Bottle Coffee Company

This tiny Oakland coffee roaster, run by husband-and-wife duo James Freeman and Colleen Donovan, is taking coffee connoisseurship to a new level, one pound at a time. Of course, the East Bay already knows a thing or two about gourmet coffee. Blue Bottle can't compete with local roasters like Peet's in volume, but it does give them a run for their money in taste and freshness. It roasts its organic coffee beans in six-pound batches using an environmentally friendly roaster, and promises not to sell anything more than 48 hours old (each bag has its roasting date hand-stamped on it, just to remind you). The results of this hands-on approach are several strong, yet never bitter, blends that are well worth the extra cost ($6-$7 for a half pound of caf; $6.25 for decaf). And you don't have to be a java junkie to appreciate Freeman's near-religious quest for the perfect cup of handcrafted, environmentally friendly coffee. He's currently trying to get local restaurants to see the light. In the meantime, Blue Bottle sells its beans at the Berkeley and Old Oakland farmers' markets. Home delivery is also available.


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