Man, the Trimethyldioxypurist is cranky lately. Even after he's had his coffee.

The sheer overproliferation of certain stores in San Francisco these days is frightening. You can't spit downtown without hitting a Subway or Quiznos (which still evoke the image of those disgusting "singing tumors," or whatever the hell they were supposed to be). More to our area of interest (the Trimethyldioxypurist certainly won't even feign an "expertise"), you can't find a non-residential area of San Fran that's a "Starbucks-free zone." Not to mention lesser offenders like Peet's, Tully's, etc. Well, at least we only have one CB&TL, unlike our L.A. brethren.

But, still -- if we're doomed to corporate overload, why can't we have more Torrefazione Italia Coffee cafes? Okay, maybe there are about the right amount -- three here in EssEff. And, in our opinion, it's corporate coffee done right.

By way of contrast, local brand Royal Ground seems to pop up all over the darned place in town. Every neighborhood seems to have one, and each one seems to reflect its surroundings. But it turns out that, despite the prevalence of the name, they aren't all necessarily affiliated. What gives?

Let's start the week right. Let's talk caffeine -- trimethyldioxypurin. What better window into San Francisco than its coffee joints?