Zagat just published a coffee guide for Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, DC, Philadelphia, NYC, and Chicago, a first for the now Google-owned review house. Using their “unique style” of “writing”, as well as their “four numbered categories”, they've touched on some of North America's hottest (and not-so-hottest cafes). Some are dubious of this new Zagat category:
Unlike Zagat’s other guides, the coffee survey is online only, and as you can see, coffeeshops are graded in a similar way as restaurants: food, decor, service and costs. However, what could have been a smart resource — coffee shop prices side-by-side and service ratings — is defeated by a very, very limited selection: only nine local coffee shops are included, a third of which are too new for grades. The only roaster on the list is Blue Bottle. When it comes to choosing the list, this is what a Zagat spokesperson said: “Our editors curated lists of the most noteworthy coffee shops in various cities. They took into consideration user comments, ratings and location to find places that would be worthwhile checking out.”
The guide itself has a total of fifty-six spots for the seven cities. There are some wonderful choices in there, but also some baffling omissions; we hope that the guide gets juicier and bigger for 2014.