Down in Southern California, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is considered a worthy rival to Starbucks (ok, "worthy"), complete with a cult following to call its own. Hundreds of CB shops litter the West Coast (and Texas too, apparently), but oddly enough, San Francisco only boasts three locations: in the Embarcadero Center, on the Pacific Heights stretch of Fillmore, and right off Yerba Buena Lane.
But that's about to change, because Coffee Bean now has plans for 50 new outposts in the Bay. As if the local rivalry between Starbucks and Peet's wasn't enough, San Francisco will soon have another coffee chain war, but with the reputation—not to mention the (continuing) proliferation—of the various indie coffee joints, one has to wonder how well the coffee chains fare around these parts.
Especially considering the great lengths Starbucks is going to to rebrand itself and to diversify its stores with new products from adult beverages to food.
The Bay Area also boasts a robust independent coffee scene that has dedicated and loyal fans, who ironically enough has received a few write ups by The Los Angeles Times.
Eater SF contributed to this story.