i heard about contraband through a friend a couple of weeks ago but when he mentioned it again and said that they had the kone i booked it there this week. located in nob hill at 1415 Larkin St, it wasn't where i envisioned quality coffee but i was in for a treat.
contraband offers multiple single origins brewed in chemex and pour over as well as a choice of espresso. they roast their own coffee in oakland and they had the most interesting espresso grinder i've ever seen. it allows multiple different espressos, they have three, to feed into its chamber. the disk that spins to start the grinder in motion is captivating to watch. i tried the peaberry in the chemex kone at the barista's suggestion because she said it was sweet. that was very true, it was juicy with a ripe cherry flavor. it was bold but well balanced. i really love the body that the kone offers, its right between a french press and the paper filter pour over. very smooth but still crisp. i read, while many seemingly neighborhood patrons came in and out, studied and chatted. it has a really sunny, community vibe that i soaked up.
i sipped a gibralter, my signature drink, before leaving and was surprised by the earthy, bright taste of the ethiopian yirgacheffe espresso. it was distinct and unique, almost a little too sharp for me but sweetened by the milk it was the perfect stimulus for my walk back down polk where i meandered amongst the shops and sunlight.