This year’s barista competitions are now in full swing and baristas around the world have begun competing for a shot at the world title in Vienna this summer. It’s a big deal in the specialty coffee industry, but I doubt you’ll see many billboards from Ticketmaster advertising the event. However, if the World Barista Championship ever finds itself heading to San Francisco, they should call up designer Valerie Schwartz and ask what it would cost to change the date on these posters and start posting them around town.
The beautiful line drawings of San Francisco’s hillside landscapes combined with great typography have created a truly incredible set of collateral for the event—even in its hypothetical state. The series of posters, tickets and event program are successfully tied together with a system of watercolor (coffee) textures and a monochromatic palette.
The design uses several coffee clichés in new and elegant ways to make it populist as well as innovative. If real, it could have the potential of reaching a broader audience and encourage regular coffee consumers to learn more about how the profession is being pushed to new heights and improving their coffee experiences.
San Francisco’s Best Coffee, a new app for West Coast coffee lovers, gives Bay area residents and visitors a great resource for finding good coffee in the city. Blue Crow Media made their introduction into the coffee world with their first app, London’s Best Coffee, and are now bringing their digital expertise to the US.
San Francisco is my favorite city in the States, and the SF coffee scene continues to grow and improve every time I return. I previously made a Google Map of recommended stops, but I topped out at about 20 locations. The SF Best app has over 60 locations, including roasteries as well as cafés all marked on an integrated Google map. The icons are nicely designed and touching one will bring up a thumbnail photo along with the location’s name.
Each stop can be rated, giving it an opportunity to be listed among the Top 25, as well as offering users a bit of community feedback. I’m not sure if there are any safeguards to prevent dishonest voting—I’m always skeptical about how these things are tallied—but the current list isn’t far from my own personal favorites.
Once you select a cafe, there’s a nice profile of them, including address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. It also includes technical information such as beans, grinder and espresso machine used. I would also like to see whether a place offers pour over, frcnch press, etc.—as well as when they were established, and wifi capability. I also think shops in Oakland should have been included. I understand that its technically a different city, but it’s like creating a New York City app and leaving out Brooklyn.
The profile continues with a photo of the location, a brief description, and the option to get directions via the iPhone map (which seems to be having problems right now).
For $0.99 cents, it’s less than you would spend buying a friend a cup of coffee or tipping your barista for referring you to a long list of nice cafés. While I haven’t visited all them, if you stick to the Top 25, I doubt you’ll ever be disappointed.
Entertaining video about the “coffee wars” of San Francisco, beginning with Ritual and Blue Bottle coffee. Filmed in the style of Ken Burn’s Civil War, but easier to make it all the way through. Enjoy!
Beautifully clean editorial design for an article about the new wave of coffee in San Francisco Magazine.
A new generation of café owners and roasters has burst from the dark shadow of Peet’s and “Charbucks,” luring its patrons toward a more complex and varied caffeinated frontier. Its members value lighter roasts, the better to unmask a coffee’s nuanced nature. They place emphasis on provenance and preparation, tracing beans to cherished “micro-lots” and prized Producers while geeking out over machines priced higher than your car. They hold public “cuppings.” They debate “flavor profiles,” gushing over citrus notes and chocolaty aromas. Like chefs fi ne-tuning menus, they approach their product as cuisine. –San Francisco Magazine