Exporting Fillmore’s coffee culture

By Anne Paprocki

Tucked in an unassuming office behind two Fillmore boutiques, longtime local residents Elise Papazian and Scott Pritikin hope to expand the horizons of coffee connoisseurs everywhere with their recently launched online service GoCoffeeGo.

“Nobody should be drinking the same cup of coffee every day,” says Papazian, “It’s just boring. Would you eat the same food day in and out?”

The website includes a selection of coffee beans from 18 different roasters, including Zoka, Ritual, Cuvee, Atomic, Equator Coffees & Teas and Johnson Brothers. Papazian and Pritikin — who admit to testing up to 10 different coffees a day — have vetted each offering.

Married in 1991, Papazian and Pritikin have worked together as writers and in real estate. But as the idea for GoCoffeeGo began incubating, the couple traipsed around the country, visiting roasters in locales as expected as San Francisco and Seattle and as far-flung as Leeds, Alabama and Spicewood, Texas. They met with the head roaster for each coffee they considered and picked those that met their personal standards for both taste and quality.

“San Francisco residents live in a food mecca, but they still might not have heard of the amazing coffee coming out of some of these towns,” says Papazian.

Though both Papazian and Pritikin — who grew up skateboarding through
Pacific Heights — love the shops of Fillmore Street, they decided a website, rather than a brick and mortar store, would allow coffee to be shipped directly from roasters to customers as soon as it’s roasted.

“Would you drink a champagne that’s gone flat?” asks Pritikin. “We want customers to experience freshly roasted beans.”

GoCoffeeGo’s online operation could have been based anywhere, but Papazian and Pritikin wanted their office in the neighborhood.

“Fillmore Street is not a snotty street,” says Papazian. “There’s a real community and personal experience here that we want to bring to GoCoffeeGo.” Pritkin and Papazian bring some Fillmore flavor by personally responding to customer email and are happy to suggest coffees and talk shop.

Papazian and Pritikin, who frequent Peet’s and Royal Ground for coffee on Fillmore, acknowledge that GoCoffeeGo is not a substitute for the neighborhood coffee shop culture. “We don’t want to be competitive with Peet’s,” says Papazian. “Coffee shops have really become places for the community to congregate. Our function is different.”

Still, Papazian and Pritikin hope that GoCoffeeGo will help foster a new online community of coffee fans who connect with each other and a wide variety of beans. Customers of GoCoffeeGo can also become members, which allows them to rate the various coffees, receive personalized recommendations and use an auto-ship function.

“People should play the field and take a risk,” Papazian says. “You should never settle for just one coffee.”

From the Chron: roasters sign up

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