Today after slugging our way through the Whole Foods parking lot in Berkeley, the wife and I decided to stop into this nice coffee spot on our way home, Philz Coffee. And believe me if you have ever been to Whole Foods in Berkeley it's crazy, so crazy in fact there is a music video about it you can watch.
Okay now enough about the Whole Foods parking lot, but as you can see from the video above from the creative folks at Smog and Fog, we needed a break.
Now one of the interesting points about Philz Coffee, which has quite a few locations in the Bay Area, is that it is done entirely via pour over. There are no fancy espresso machines like you find in a lot of coffee shops. I think their fancy machine is the bunn hot water dispenser next to each pour over station. It was pretty embarrassing the first time I came in I ordered a latte... but the girl there was really nice about it and informed me of their pour over ways.
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The inside of this shop can get pretty busy because each barista can handle up to four drinks and there is room for five baristas, that's 20 drinks that can be made at once! Although I have to admit I think the busiest I ever see it is just with four baristas but still it can get pretty jammed.
Basically you go in and order with a barista then go pay for it in the back while you wait.
So not only do they only do pour over, but are almost exclusively blends of coffee and one of the biggest complaints by people is they do not disclose the origin of the coffees they are using for most blends. I have heard people question this because they think they might be using some below average beans, but in the end I have always had a good cup of coffee from here. So if you are concerned about getting organic or rainforest certified beans you should look elsewhere, but if all you care about is the cup then don't complain.
The great joy of Philz is they do an excellent pour over, have over 20 blends to try and they do froth your milk if you add it to your drink by shaking it like a martini, which does a pretty fantastic job of creating frothy goodness that is probably better then what you get at a lot of places.
Of the blends I have tried I tend to like their lighter ones, most noteablely Greater Alarm and Canopy of Heaven.They add a little bit of brightness to the cup and when added to milk/sugar are an excellent treat after toiling through the Whole Foods parking lot.