Saturday, November 24, 2012

San Francisco Coffee and Chocolate Staycation - Day 3 of 4

After gym, breakfast, and phone calls, we were off and running on our staycation plans. Halfway through the itinerary, we shuffled the 4 remaining shops a bit to line up walkable neighborhoods and anticipated amounts of food consumption.

Our first brief stop was to Stanza Coffee Bar, only 3 blocks from home. They opened just two weeks ago, and it seemed they'd been waiting for us! We popped in just to check out the ambiance and see if we'd be able to come back later to hang out with our laptops. We mentioned to the baristas that we would be right back after a quick stop to Dandelion chocolate shop - do they want us to get them anything? You should've seen the excitement on their faces! The two uber-trusting friendly neighborhoody guys opened their wallets and gave us money and instructions on what to get from Dandelion - as long as we promise to come back! Only in San Francisco...

 Dandelion Chocolate: Outside and Inside

Dandelion is a storefront and small chocolate factory that opened 10 days ago another 3 blocks away. In the store, you can taste samples of their three single-origin bars and teach your palette to differentiate qualities of the regions. The Venezuelan 70% dark chocolate was described as "chocolately with notes of chocolate" and the Madagascar 70% dark is super complex. We took an even-stronger 85% dark version of the Madagascar and brought the other two bars for our new barista friends.

The expert coffee artists at Stanza working their magic

One thing I love about Stanza Coffee Bar is they feature coffees roasted by home-roasters IN THEIR HOUSES. This is like a coffee equivalent of nano-brewing - such a cool idea!!! Olga ordered well-priced Sumatra blend and I splurged for the homebrew Panama Hacienda La Esmerelda Geisha. Hers was (again) a little sour, but mine was fantastic, so much so that I took it black (first time for me). Olga seems to be having a run of bad luck with the fancy coffees this week! The baristas were very emphatic that I take mine as a pour-over and Olga get hers in a small French Press - they certainly know their coffees!
Later overheard in the cafe, baristas exclaiming to each other "you have to try this espresso with the dandelion chocolate!"

Dandelion 85% dark chocolate and Stanza
home-roasted coffee pairing in honor of my Dad



Karen the first said...

I CANNOT believe they handed over their $ to you two. You must have looked exceptionally honest today. ;)

ivden said...

You guys look exceptionally honest every day! BTW, next visit to Stanza, suggest a deal with Dandelion to offer chocolate in their shop. I won't demand a fee for the concept, except maybe a free double shot espresso :-) Watch out, Starbucks!