Category: San Francisco

Sightglass Coffee – San Francisco

Sightglass Coffee – San Francisco

Sightglass Coffee is a coffee roasting and serving company in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2009 by the brothers Justin and Jerad Morrison, originally starting as a coffee cart operating out of a warehouse.

Best Sumatra coffee can be found here.

Started as a Coffee Cart

A couple years later, the cart blossomed and took over the warehouse as a whole, eventually becoming Sightglass’s staple location and headquarters. Now ten years after it was founded, Sightglass supports five locations, and a sixth is poised to open in October, with a kitchen to make their own food in.

None of the current locations include their own kitchen, but each has notable differences.  Each spot has a different environment, but a few even have exclusively sourced coffees.

The SOMA District Location is the Original

The SOMA District space was the original warehouse, and these days holds many amenities, such as the vintage Probat roaster with the viewing window the company fashioned their name from, a wealth of seating for the community to gather amongst, coffee brewing that customers can watch firsthand, and an affogato bar, which Sightglass says is the first of its kind in the city.

The Mission District Location Serves Different Coffee

The Mission District location keeps different coffees than the other locations, serving single origin espresso within its redwood-sapwood made store. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Sightglass operates a coffee-cart/kiosk at the San Francisco Farmer’s Market. Here they serve pourovers, espresso, single-origin coffee, and wholesale beans, amongst a wealth of food-selling neighbors. 

The Divisadero Store is Quick & Convenient

Found in the middle of the city is the Divisadero store, with furnishings made from Monterey Cypress trees, and a unique “walk-up” window that aims to create convenience for customers trying to grab a quick cup before walking over to the nearby bus stop.

The Location Knowns as SFMOMA is Located in the Museum

The fifth location is unique in that it is located on the third floor of a museum, properly named SFMOMA, after the museum’s initials. The conveniently located exhibits add to the experience, and customers can get nitro cold brew on tap, among other drinks, to wander the museum with. 

They Use Only Green Coffee Sourced From Around the World

All Sightglass coffee is green and sourced from all around the world. Sightglass stresses that to have a full coffee experience, it is worth knowing about where it comes from, and they talk in depth about this in their online blog.

They also offer a full experience in some of their coffee that is not particularly common, in that it is naturally processed, meaning that the berry is not scraped off before roasting, adding an intense fruity flavor. You can try this coffee, known as Yetetabe Natural.

Address

270 7th St, 3014 20th St, 1 Ferry Building, 301 Divisadero St, or 151 3rd St, San Francisco, California

Verve Coffee – San Francisco

Verve Coffee – San Francisco

Verve Coffee Roasters is a coffee roasting and selling cafe with locations across California and Japan. It was founded in November of 2007 by Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr, with Mike Eyre coming on shortly afterward to help handle the business, and eventually becoming the CEO.

By the way, learn about Sumatran coffee here.

A Unique and Successful Business Model

Their roasting operation is based out of Santa Cruz, but their first cafe opened in Pleasure Point, California. Verve’s business model splits their components into what they refer to as “Farmlevel” and “Streetlevel.” 

The Farmlevel aspect is everything within Verve’s reach that has to do with where the coffee beans they source grow, and the farmers that grow them. Verve is conscious about climate change, and strives to tackle its effect on the coffee industry in multiple ways.

They Use Higher Quality Beans

First, they purchase heirloom coffees. These come from plants that are threatened by changing climate conditions, and unable to be used as a commercial commodity, or otherwise sold in bulk.

Verve also pays premiums for higher quality beans, and their baseline pay to the farmers they work with directly is of a higher amount than the fair trade minimum.

They Have a Nursery Project on Earth Day!

As a result, they can help benefit to a higher extent the conditions of the farmers’ lives and the crops they produce. The last and latest component of Farmlevel practices is Verve’s nursery project, which included their planting of sixty thousand coffee plants on the previous Earth Day. 

Streetlevel is where the customers and cafes come in. Verve Coffee Roasters has many locations, and each of these features the modern look of whites, woods, and classy decor, largely lit with natural light from spacious windows.

There Coffee Menu is Traditional

The beverage menu includes chai and tea, along with the main course of coffee, in forms of macchiatos, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, americanos, espresso, and coffee available in daily selections.

The seasonal menu changes periodically, but gets creative with drinks like the Whiskey Latte, which is a latte with whiskey syrup provided by The Penny Ice Creamery.

They Serve Fresh Juice Too

The most unique offering though is quite expansive. Verve sells a wide variety of juice, available as smoothies, shots, and as a juice flight for those that want to taste the many options.

The many beverages can help wash down the food options that come in forms of granola bowls, wraps, and baked goods such as chocolate chip banana bread and donuts. 

Verve Coffee Roasters does a lot and does it with an environmental and community friendly conscience. Their locations are all around California and Japan.  

Address

2101 Market St, San Francisco, California

Four Barrel Coffee – San Francisco

Four Barrel Coffee – San Francisco

Four Barrel Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster and seller in San Francisco, California. It originally opened in 2008, but its history from then through modern day has been tumultuous. Best Sumatran bean selection is discussed in detail here.

Restructured in 2018

At the start of 2018, one of Four Barrel’s three cofounders found himself subject to sexual assault accusations, and was subsequently booted out of the company, forfeiting his fifty percent stock and all.

While a few adjustments were made to the business’s operations and plans, Four Barrel has mostly remained the same. It supports three locations, all in San Francisco, and is co-owned between Jodi Geren and Tal Mor. 

3 Different and Unique Locations

Even though one location is based out of a renovated warehouse, one a more standard shop, and one operating out of local restaurant, The Mill, they are each artistic and modern. The first two are full of whites, bricks, cement, and light woods.

Suitably for a company that sells as artistically crafted beverages as Four Barrel, the walls of Four Barrel cafes are adorned with a wealth of art from featured local artists, which add both color and character to the environment.

No WIFI in Their Shops

An aspect the former owner set in place that hasn’t changed is that no Four Barrel location has WIFI, and this carries specific intentions. The owner had previously worked at Ritual Coffee and was one of the first to introduce free WIFI to coffee shops, but noticed how it destroyed people’s ability to connect, as well as how they enjoyed their coffee experience.

People were staying in their cafe for the wrong reasons, and without WIFI, Four Barrel’s sought after coffee takes priority. Formerly, they didn’t even sell tea, because they focus so much on coffee.

Their Menu is Traditional and Simple

Their menu isn’t extensive, only involving espresso, macchiatos, mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, affogatos, and coffee. However, it is all directly, sustainably sourced from farmers that Four Barrel visits for multiple months every year and roasted in a vintage Probat roaster operated by highly trained experts.

Offering Non-Dairy Options

Four Barrel offers an alternative milk additive in their house-made almond-macadamia milk for those that crave a nuttier taste, but their specialty is a black, cold coffee. Not believers in cold-brew, Four Barrel sells a coffee that is heat-brewed and then quickly cooled, available in-store and in cans in retails stores. 

Four Barrel Coffee sticks to their guns where their coffee experience is concerned. No WIFI and no cold brew, but artistically roasted, high quality beans, enjoyed in a communal environment is their trade.

Address

375 Valencia St, 736 Divisadero St, or 2 Burrows St, San Francisco, California.