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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.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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