Four of us were packed into a rental car, heading North on the 101 Freeway. We were on our way to Sonoma for a weekend of wine tasting at one of our favorite vineyards. We were exhausted and dragging, so we were desperate for coffee. I opened Yelp on my iphone, typed in coffee and Weaver’s Coffee & Tea in San Rafael, California popped up. The coffee shop was right off the Freeway exit so we decided to give it a shot. Talk about finding a gem in the most unlikely of places. This is a true coffee shop, and frankly, as far as I am concerned, one of the world’s best coffee shops.
We emptied out of the rental car and into the coffee shop. There was a small line, which was unexpected at 2pm on a Thursday, but the line moved quickly. Right away I noticed the energy, this coffee shop did not have attitude, like a lot of the coffee shops on the West Coast. The barista was down to earth and was actually interested in speaking to us. She was answering questions about the organic coffee they served and being really cool. The coffee shop was small, but cozy, with a large granite community table and a few large comfy chairs. I ordered a double espresso and it was delicious. I could not believe this place served great organic coffee and fair trade certified coffee. Things got even better when one of the owners happened to come downstairs from her office and start up a conversation. Within minutes we were offered a quick tour. The owner opened a door and we walked into a huge coffee Roastery. She explained the entire process, from how they globally source green Arabica coffee beans, to how they hand roast the coffee. There were these groovy packaging machines and three giant shipping tables with the last of the orders on their way out the door.
Once the tour was finished I decided to buy a pound of coffee beans and the nice Barista quickly put it through a huge grinder while we waited. We left with one pound of ground organic coffee that filled the rental car with the most amazing smell the rest of our ride to Sonoma.
Well, it took one day for us to burn through that one pound of coffee and to tell you the truth I was unable to drink any other coffee after drinking Weaver’s Coffee. Everything else tasted terrible and I found myself getting angry that I did not have Weaver’s Coffee, especially in the morning.
We left Sonoma early Saturday evening and drove into San Francisco. We were spending our last night in San Francisco and were scheduled to take the tour of Alcatraz the next day. We found a cheap hotel through Expedia located on Union Square and when we woke up we were dying for a cup of good coffee. The problem was we really wanted more of that Weaver’s Coffee we got in San Rafael. They were closed when we drove past Saturday night, so we were stuck with bad hotel coffee Sunday morning. It wasn’t working for me, so I opened Yelp and typed in Weaver’s Coffee in the hope there might be a place serving it near our hotel. Yes! I found out that Weaver’s Coffee & Tea had a coffee shop at 2301 Market Street in San Francisco. Since we had already turned in our rental car we grabbed an uber and we were at the coffee shop in eight minutes. Now, this Weaver’s Coffee & Tea coffee shop was slick, I mean super cool looking – all white with a huge video wall. We found out the video wall features a local artist each month. Plus, they show unique images, coffee videos and movies. There was great music playing and some seriously ripped guys walking around. I found out later there is a gym next door, which now makes sense but at the time it made me feel self-conscious after all of the eating and drinking we had been doing in Sonoma. The Barista’s in the coffee shop were tattooed; one had a shaved head with bits of spiked purple hair. We expected attitude but they were just really nice. The spiked purple hair barista made a couple of amazing organic cappuccinos for my friends with beautiful latte art. I grabbed a turkey wrap from the grab and go, and ordered a double espresso. I went to sit on a stool at the counter by windows and watched people mosey up and down Market Street. Just as I finished chowing my turkey wrap, the barista called out my name for my double espresso. I walked over to the espresso machine, tossed back that double espresso, and then went back to my stool at the counter. When it was time for us to go off in another uber to catch our ferry and tour of Alcatraz, I whipped out my credit card and bought four pounds of espresso beans, which I carried around with me for the rest of the day.
Once we got in line to catch the ferry to Alcatraz, the people standing near me while we waited in line smelled the coffee in my backpack and asked me about the coffee smell. I told them about the Weaver’s Coffee & Tea coffee shops and Roastery and probably gave the company a few new customers in the process. It was great to get away and spend a long weekend with my friends in Sonoma wine tasting, and finish the weekend with a great tour of Alcatraz. However, I have to say, the best part about the trip was finding the best organic coffee shops and finding out I could buy organic coffee online too.