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San Francisco’s Best Coffee App

Posted on January 8, 2011 by

Design-wise this is a very nice app. I appreciate the geo-location features, and the listing of factual-based information such as roaster, grinder, espresso machine (though these things have a tendency to change).

What I don’t enjoy is reading reviews or seeing ratings left by people that I don’t know. That information has very little value for me. What I’d love to see instead is the ability to find and follow people that I DO know from within the service, and see only the ratings and reviews that they have left. Otherwise it feels a bit like a coffee specific version of Yelp (a service I’m not particularly fond of).

Overall I think this is a great idea, done very well if not perfectly. There’s also a London version available, and a New York version coming soon.

[$.99 on iTunes]

  • swag

    I pretty much had the same reaction as you. I definitely like it better than the Beanhunter iPhone app — which, while free, open, and global, is heavily centered around Australia. The guys behind this app may be based in London, a bit far removed from the local SF coffee scene, but I like how it shows an awareness of their equipment at least. But you’re right in that it feels like a subsection of Yelp in how they’ve executed it.nnThat said, I still don’t get the obsession with map-oriented iPhone apps for information you can basically get from a mobile Web browser. Even mobile Web sites can now tie into the iPhone’s built-in GPS geo-location services, rendering the whole iPhone app concept largely redundant.nnThe geolocation focus is a bit limiting too. Unless you’re lost and/or on foot where proximity is the primary determinant of where you want to get coffee, quality is a decidedly secondary selection criteria. So Yelp has no quality low bar to at least feign some baseline quality standards. But just because a coffee bar is independent (and hence makes the cut for the app), that doesn’t confer necessary “good” status on it either: rather than “SF’s Best Coffee”, this app really should be named “SF’s Independent Coffee”.nnMaps are pretty to look at, but they’re not always functional. If you have access to a car or a Muni pass and a little time, it’s a clumsy app for seeking out locations based on quality.

  • Sarah T.

    This app is very nicely done. I’ve found a number of new places with it, even though I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the SF coffee scene. It is without a doubt showcasing the best coffee in the city (all of which, in my humble opinion) are independent cafes. Could add a few cafes though. Overall, it’s a beautifully simple design and a pleasure to use.

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