The Drink: The “One and One” house espresso at Linea Caffe
The Price: Macchiato: $3.50; Espresso: $3
Why It’s Amazing: This nano-coffee shop in the Mission launched by Ecco Caffe founder Andrew Barnett and staffed by a who’s who in the coffee world carries a selection of coffees that have won The Cup of Excellence (which is widely considered the Oscars of coffee) that changes every six weeks. In a departure from the much-maligned “sour coffees” that pervade other cult roasters, Barnett aims to achieve a “sweet, clean, balanced” profile that captures the inherent sweetness of the coffee fruit. The style is more akin to a Northern Italian blend, only better, because he sources better beans and they’re freshly roasted. We recommend ordering a “one and one” of the namesake Linea espresso, that gets you a single espresso and a single macchiato, served side by side in Heath Ceramic cups with a sparkling water chaser, so you can see what it tastes like both straight up and with milk.
Perfect Pairing: Get an order of the heavenly Lt. Waffle’s buckwheat waffles topped with mascarpone and honey, courtesy of Anthony Myint (of Commonwealth, Mission Chinese Food and Mission Bowling Club fame) who runs an incubator waffle and fresh salad business in Linea’s microscopic storefront. Enjoy it alfresco at one of the handful of tables set up in the alley.
Know Before You Go: While most coffee snobs talk smack about decaf drinkers, Barnett has the utmost respect for them, pointing out that they’re actually the ultimate coffee drinker because they only consume for the pleasure and the flavor, not the buzz. He’s recently introduced a super high-quality Swiss Water process decaf blend from Ethiopia called Busa Bechane that has notes of sugarcane, vanilla, malted milk and stone fruit. The shop is also one of the only spots in town to offer the AeroPress method, which is gentler on the grounds than a French press.