San Francisco's coffee scene is taking a sip in the luxury direction with the launch of a new company that is billing itself as the Dom Perignon of coffee. According to SF Eater, Sāe Coffee Studio has introduced itself to the Bay Area's upmarket coffee community.
Under former tech professionals Luis "Luchi" Pincay and Christina Minju, their first coffee met the world in June 2023, after they said they were brewing up the concept. Speaking to SF Eater, the dynamic duo shared their vision: “This isn’t your everyday table wine,” Minju says. “This is your special occasion.” With San Francisco's reputation for artisanal products and affluent taste buds, their high-end, small-batch offerings are hoping to resonate.
The business model isn't just about selling coffee; it's about selling an experience. Delivering top-tier seasonal coffees rated 88 points or above by the Specialty Coffee Association, a $47 tag comes on their El Salvadoran coffee for just 150 grams—a bargain in the world of high-end caffeine consumers. As Minju put it in her chat with SF Eater, these aren't just beans, they're an occasion.
Fused with a rich personal history—Pincay's family ran a shrimp farming business in Ecuador, and Minju had a coffee scholar grandfather from Korea—the pair's multinational roots plant deeper into their company ethos. Pincay's culinary background and Minju's brand wizardry are mistakenly whisked into the business, betting on a shared passion that's been percolating since their tech days. He grew up in Bahia de Caraquez, "where his family farmed shrimp," Pincay told SF Eater, where he first encountered the bean buzz that now fuels Sāe Coffee Studio. Minju, in parallel, found that the pandemic sparked a reemerging passion for coffee that had been handed down from her grandfather.
Aside from selling their exquisite brews, the company's business stretches into the realms of events where coffee becomes conversational pieces and community builders at pop-ups like Deluxe Queer. Wielding their Q Grader certification—the coffee world's reply to a sommelier—they're on a mission to provide unique experiences. Minju asked during an interview with SF Eater, “How do we create conversation and community around coffee?” Coffee aficionados can dive into Sāe Coffee Studio's world of luxury beans and bespoke events through their website.