Category Archives: San Francisco

Sightglass Coffee, Pour One

Apartment hunting in New York City is the absolute worst. I’d rather watch white paint dry on a wall than go through the frustrating and stressful process that defines Gotham shoebox searching.

In this city, you walk into a place, you want it, you sign on the dot on the spot. Contracts move lightning fast — you better know how to deal or game over son.

I remember last year as I was going through “the process” my blood pressure would skyrocket every Saturday afternoon. It was the kind of jolt that only comes from slamming many shots of espresso before getting punched in the stomach.

Every apartment I toured seemed smaller and smaller and yet more and more expensive. That’s funny slash not really.

In normalville, for my amount of rent, I could have a pimp house with stainless steel appliances, a washer and dryer and a garage safekeeping a dope car. Reality slaps all of that I realize as I’m out of breath from climbing three flights of stairs daily and question where the heck I’m living.

“You should move to Brooklyn,” says my brother.  You’re funny, Cass, slash soooo right.

C’est la vie. I understand why Manhattan adults still have roommates of the non-marriage variety. There exists a double-edged sword.

The city is crazy intense. Naturally, one can appreciate a shoebox space because it’s yours. Do what you want, when you want.

If you want to throw your laundry all over your living room / bedroom / kitchen, you can do that. Ain’t no one gonna tell you to pick it up.

If you want to leave the dishes in the sink for days, you can do that. Ain’t no one gonna tell you to clean it up.

If you want to jam your esoteric music, you will do that. Ain’t no one gonna tell you to turn it down.

And if you want to stand in your kitchen eating grape jelly on saltine crackers while reading Vogue, yeah, you can pull a Carry Bradshaw and no one will judge because you’re the boss.

I actually don’t do any of the above (I prefer strawberry jam…kidding). But the point is if I want to I can. That’s the beauty of living solo — you can be wildly inconsiderate and the only person you bother is yourself.

So if I want to grind my coffee at 6 a.m., I will because I like the noise, and I’m not concerned with waking anyone up but my incessantly sleep-deprived self.

Lately, the best part of waking up is Owl’s Howl in my cup.

The coffee is from San Francisco-based Sightglass, and the company is absolutely on point with this espresso. It’s flavored with notes of butterscotch, mango, honey and chocolate-covered cherries. Word.

The unexpected marriage has a subtle degree of sweetness and tastes surprisingly light and buttery. It makes waking up early in a shoebox apartment a far more pleasurable experience.

And if you have the opportunity to scope out Sightglass in person, go, go, go. The spot is mad cool. It’s like the ultimate independent coffeehouse on roids — two stories tall, a bar at the front and piles of coffee beans sealed in burlap bags all over the space. It made me foam at the mouth. Just kidding (or am I?).

Part deux to come.

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BBC: Best Brewed Coffee

Cell phone. Wallet. NARS lip gloss. Lumix camera. Moleskin notepad. These staples keep my Kate Spade plenty of company whenever I explore a city.

The notepad is scribbled with lots of randoms—restaurant recommendations, museums, yoga studios and coffee shops. The list grew increasingly long during a recent trip to San Francisco, where I happily fulfilled one much-anticipated item on the weekend’s agenda: hitting up Blue Bottle Coffee.

Of the six locations in San Fran, I navigated my way toward 66 Mint Street where my eyes caught a framed image of a blue bottle hanging above BBC’s entrance. When I stepped inside with my friend B.R., we were immediately greeted with a thick aroma of brewed coffee. The scent was as pleasantly fragrant as a bouquet of fresh flowers—and far, far more aromatic than any morning brew I could ever make. I immediately knew I was in for an A+ experience.

Blue Bottle Beans

As we stood in line to place our orders, I couldn’t help but notice the ever-so-inviting tower of individually packaged whole beans bundled in brown paper. Each eight-ounce bag wrapped a distinct flavor profile. I typically gravitate toward the sweeter side, so, unsurprisingly, you can imagine my immediate reaction when I read the rundown for Mexico Chiapas: “pleasant but dainty, with sweetness… hints of sage, a touch of wood smoke…a lovely companion to almost all conceivable breakfast foods. It takes milk well; stalwart black.” Hmm…Yes, please!

My kid-in-a-candy-store smile grew even wider after I placed an order for a tall Americano. While B.R. requested an upside down macchiato, the wow factor continued at the other end of the counter, where I stood hypnotized by a foreign apparatus that resembled a beaker in the workings of a scientific experiment. The Thomas-Edison-looking piece of equipment is known as a Kyoto-style iced-coffee apparatus. This coffee-making method results in a delicate and refined brew. The quality it produces is unlike anything your taste bud’s could ever have the pleasure of meeting.

As I turned around, B.R. handed me my brew. I admit, I don’t quite recall the distinct flavor of the Americano because my memory rests far heavier on the taste of B.R.’s upside down macchiato. This espresso drink rates well above average. Shots are poured before foam milk is added, providing a better-blended flavor. I describe it as delightfully decadent. My immediate reaction: “Wow.” Creamy. Sweet. Smooth. Nirvana.

*Note, B.R. and I decided to plan a trip to Coffee Mecca (aka the Northwest). Seattle suggestions are welcome.