I love Philz Coffee. Their coffee is so good it makes me want to blather like those kids in the AT&T commercials and make up songs* celebrating its greatness. Even when I’m paying, I’m thinking to myself, “Totally worth it!”
There is a strong alternative element in the staff. And at first, I feared for the coffee. How can this clearly disaffected youth possibly care about my coffee as much as I want/need him to? He can’t be expected to play by the rules of this oppressive society. He has blue hair AND an earring! He will look down on me and my hopelessly bourgeois decaf Swiss Water Peru!
But no, blue-haired youth is a serious fucking cat when it comes to my coffee. Turns out he’s new. He makes my coffee and watches me carefully as I taste it. It is very, very good, but not as good as I’m used to at Philz. I say, “It’s good.” Blue hair is unconvinced.
“You don’t look too sure,” he says, reaching to retrieve my coffee. I assume he’s just going to add something and hand it back, but he’s starting over from scratch. I am horrified. I am not someone willing to offend anyone with the ability to spit in my food. And, as I said, it was very, very good.
His second attempt is spot on and sans spit. We are both happy. I feel good about the blue-haired youth, the person who trained him, and the company that fostered the small universe they exist in. I want them all to succeed so much I buy a t-shirt to match my coffee.
The place is not flawless. Depending on location, the parking can be horrendous, the music too loud, the lines too long, the system for placing an order confusing, but they are on to something uncommon and lovely: the active, furious pursuit of something truly excellent.
*Song celebrating Philz:
(Sung to the tune of Olivia Newton-John's
I got Philz
Now Pete's is crying
'Cause they’re losing control
Of the coffee the Bay is buying
Philz is more satisfying!
Just close the Starbucks
'Cause there's no Philtered Soul
And their decaf tastes like poo
Don't close the Pete's too
'Cause sometimes Philz is far
And a distant second has to do
Until I can
Until I can get my Swiss Water Peru
You're the coffee I want!