Wrecking Ball Coffee – San Francisco

wrecking ball coffee

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters is a coffee bar and cafe in San Francisco, California. The first of their two locations were opened in the Cow Hollow area in 2014, founded by Trish Rothgeb and Nicholas Cho. If you want to try exotic blends, check out best Jamaican coffees here.

Third Wave Coffee Origin

Knowing about the histories of the two co-founders goes a long way in understanding what Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters is and is not. Trish Rothgeb is known for having invented the term “third-wave coffee.”

This is the practice of sustainably sourcing coffee and not treating it as a commodity, and logically, this is something that Wrecking Ball engages in to a higher and more dedicated degree than many other coffee shops.

Rothgeb has both served on and founded many organizations and associations within the coffee industry, such as the SCAA’s Roasters Guild Executive Council, the Barista’s Guild of America, and more.

Furthermore, Nicholas Cho has served on similar associations, and won many barista championships awards, but more importantly innovated America’s coffee industry as a whole.

They Started the Kalita Pourover in the US

In 2010, he introduced the Kalita pourover to the United States, and logically, this is a method often used in Wrecking Ball’s coffee crafting. At their locations, customers will find locally provided pastries, from businesses like Marla’s Bakery, but also the coffee that has been sourced directly and personally from the farmers that produced it. 

Wrecking Ball’s menu is small, but with reason. Their most popular drink is the iced-cappuccino, which is cold beneath the contrasting hot foam on top, but this beverage is as close as Wrecking Ball comes to what they would call “second wave.”

Wrecking Ball Drink Menu Does Not Disappoint

The other options are macchiatos, cortados, lattes, mochas, espresso, filtered and pourover coffee, and a modest selection of tea.  One of Wrecking Ball’s central goals is to create a feeling of an inclusive community. Certainly, this is evident in how they treat their customers, but as of August 23rd of 2019, it has been characterized in their newest location.

New Location Reflects Based Off Community

This space on Shattuck Avenue features a large mirror over the bar that is meant to literally reflect the community within its view, a long, twelve-seated table where people can commune, a bookshelf where people can take books and leave new ones for others to enjoy, and a mural of a woman with Asian heritage, much like Cho himself.

Wrecking Ball is dedicated to their own ideas, not doing anything more or less. They don’t serve cold-brew, for instance, as they don’t believe in it, despite how popular it has become. To support these ideals of community and third-wave coffee, visit Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters.  


2271 Union St. in San Francisco, or 1600 Shattuck Ave, Ste. 100, in Berkely, California.