Tasting coffee

Bay Area vs North America

I hosted the third (vaguely) annual coffee tasting over the weekend. It’s not a real strict or formal thing: friends come over, eat snacks, put milk in their tastes, and hopefully learn a few things about what they like about coffee.

This year, we sampled ten coffees, five from the Bay Area and five from North America. To make it slightly more apples to apples, we tasted only single origin coffees with beans from Africa (primarily Ethiopia, though Kenya and Rwanda made appearances as well). All coffees were tasted blind.

The coffees in order of appearance:

  1. Ruby Coffee Roasters, Nelsonville (Wisconsin)
  2. Andytown Coffee Roasters, SF
  3. Intelligentsia, Chicago
  4. Sightglass, SF
  5. Bows & Arrows Coffee Roasters, Victoria (BC)
  6. DIY roasted batch by Brandon Bilinski, SF
  7. Stumptown, Portland
  8. Ritual, SF
  9. Tom’s Coffee, Los Angeles
  10. Linea Caffe, SF

It took a few hours to taste all the coffees and a few people arrived later in the day or departed before the end. To pick a winner, I divided in two categories: 1) as voted by those that tasted every coffee and 2) peoples choice by absolute votes (which skews the results to the first 5 coffees).

Without further ado:

Best in taste


People’s choice(s)

Tie: Andytown and Intelligentsia

I’m pretty blown away by the performance of the North American contenders, as well as the new kid from SF!

Thanks to everyone that came out and powered through all the samples and look forward to seeing you next year (where I promise I’ll have a smaller tasting menu).

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