A blaring 1963 San Francisco Chronicle headline did not describe a missile crisis, or an earthquake. It was something far more dramatic: “A Great City’s People Forced To Drink Swill,” it declared, above a story describing the disgraceful state of that city’s coffee a half-century ago.
Sacramento, which has played Bette Davis to San Francisco’s Marlene Dietrich for about as long as anyone can remember, finally has a cup up in the coffee department. It’s truly an exciting and indeed caffeinated moment for non-swill swillers here.
For the first time, Sacramento has four coffee brews on Berkeley-based Coffee Review’s Top 30 list of the best cup of Joe. Temple Coffee and Old Soul each had two winning roasts, as The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson reported earlier this month. Temple percolated at No. 5 and No. 19. Old Soul was at a robust No. 12 and No. 29.
The Bay Area had three on that list, but not one from “The City” itself.
Oh, and where are the other regional competitors, the Coffee Reputation Meccas such as jangly, coffee shop-ridden Portland and Seattle, home of Starbucks, which placed far down the list?
One winner each.
Speaking of getting creamed, Sugar.
This coffee leadership position doesn’t come easily. You don’t just whomp together some beans, drizzle a little water over them and hope for the best.
One of the Sacramento winners, Eton Tsuno, director of coffee at Temple, spends eight months a year on the road in far-flung corners of the globe searching for the perfect bean. His obsession led him to tasting hundreds of coffees, more than 500 in Brazil alone. That’ll keep you up nights.
Sacramento has been playing the Farm-to-Fork card hard for a long time, and it’s paying off. We’ll add the Farm-to-Cup category, too.
Mrs. Olson would be proud. Old-timers will recall the huge Folger’s sign as you headed into Baghdad by the Bay. And Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, aka, Mr. Coffee, would have been jolted by the Sacramento java ranking, too.
And you know where he was from, right? That’s right. San Francisco. At least here in Sactown, we aren’t forced to drink that swill anymore.
Swill Francisco, baby. Have a cup of our award-winning Sacramento coffee. Drip with envy. We’ll even throw in a lump.