On one lovely sunny afternoon in early January, my friend Pamela Palma and I decided to take a coffee break in the backyard of General Store, a quaint little shop in the Outer Richmond located next door to Trouble Coffee. We were taking a leisurely bike ride around the city and around 3 o'clock -- that magic hour that's perfect for a little caffeine boost -- we were both craving some coffee.
As we sat within the quiet walls of that peaceful sanctuary and sipped our drinks, we came upon the idea of creating an extended version of that day's journey: a bicycle tour that visited several of our favorite coffee shops throughout the city. As we're both cycling enthusiasts and devotees of good food and drink, this was the perfect blend of our passions.
We quickly came up with a list that would loop around the city, thus allowing our friends to burn off some caffeine if they chose to indulge themselves at each location: Sightglass Coffee in SOMA; just right around the corner at Mission and 7th Street is De La Paz Coffee at their new location; Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building Marketplace; Trouble Coffee on Judah and 46th Street near Ocean Beach; Ritual Roasters at Flora Grubb Gardens; and Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission.
We set the date for early April and spread the word to our friends. Folks were encouraged to bring their own mugs and a steel stomach.
On the bright spring morning of the ride, close to 50 folks showed up for our 25-mile excursion. We hadn't warned any of the shops that we'd be arriving en masse, so our arrival felt a bit like a flash mob descending on the baristas. Their lazy Sunday turned into a Monday morning-like rush, but they were happy to accomodate us one drip coffee at a time.