Rapha SF

San Francisco – known for its excellent coffee, steep hills, and fierce two wheeled cyclists. Now, you can add Rapha’s mobile store & cafe to the city’s cycling cred. Our friends at Four Barrel have them covered on the coffee side. Yes, my SF friends, this is where messenger hipsters may finally share a drink with roadies.

From Rapha:

The Rapha Cycle Club returns to North American soil this summer in San Francisco.  Launching with the start of the Giro d’ Italia, the San Francisco Cycle Club will be the meeting place for any cyclist passionate about riding, racing and the culture of cycling. The Cycle Club will feature live coverage of both Grand Tours, a complete library of cycling magazines and books, weekly group rides, an evolving gallery of cycling photography and ephemera, and the full offering of Rapha products. Just 10 minutes ride from the Golden Gate Bridge, and with a steady schedule of unique cycling events planned — including weekly showings of great cycling films — the SF Cycle Club should be a hub for every rider this summer.

As you should expect in San Francisco, the coffee and food at the Cycle Club will have terrific character. Featuring, Four Barrel Coffee, and sweet and savory goodness from the Tell Tale Preserve Company, the Cycle Club is an ideal start or finish for group rides.

A full schedule of events coming soon.

Address:

2198 Filbert (x. Fillmore)
San Francisco, CA 94123

Phone:

415.896.4671

Open:

  • May 5 – July 31

Hours:

  • Monday–Friday: 7am to 7pm
  • Saturday–Sunday: 7am to 6pm

Note: Open earlier on big Giro and Tour stages with live coverage.

Reverse+Rewind: La Marzocco Out of the Box Berkeley

Ok folks… it’s been way over a month since La Marzocco Out of the Box took the Bay Area by storm and, finally, here it is, a pictorial and cinematographical review of the event.

Flickr images here

A short music video summary of Out of the Box featuring LM USA’s very own, Luke Steitz, in his hip hop group Token Folk.

Complete video of the keynote presentation, with presentation by Chris Baca, welcome by Kent Bakke, and the keynote by Jerry Baldwin.

Mark Your Calendars!

Mark your calendars because the Bay Area is the place to be in January 2011!

Satisfy your taste buds with the Good Food Awards (Jan 14-15) and eat the best in:

  • Beer
  • Charcuterie
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Pickles
  • Preserves

If you’re familiar with the Slow Foods event in SF a couple years ago, this is very similar. As the name suggests, Good Food Awards will award the best amongst all the leading names in specialty coffee as well as a number of quality newcomers. LM USA will be providing the equipment for the Friday awards event and the Saturday Marketplace.

On Jan 18-19, we will host the next Out of the Box at the Marsh in Berkeley, CA. If you’re familiar with the 2008 WRBC, this is the same place.

Out of the Box is designed to bring together the regional coffee community to learn & share coffee knowledge, showcase new products/services, and, of course, party! This will be an action packed, two day event, featuring not just La Marzocco, but many other leading names in all aspects of the coffee industry as well. Download the overview PDF here.

More info to come.

SF, etc.

Haven’t been to SF in several months and how exciting the coffee scene has gotten since! First, Four Barrel has really upped their single origin bar, a smaller bar separate from their main coffee bar dedicated to a more personal approach to making and presenting coffee to the consumer. Here the barista prepares espresso (via a prototype, espresso-only La Marzocco Shot Brewer they’re field testing for us) or pourover from a list of SO coffees. The utmost attention and care is taken with every single drink while the barista has the opportunity to answer any questions about the coffee the customer may have. Wait time is secondary to quality. With such dedicated attention to SO coffees, this setup has helped to double their whole bean and increase their merch sales. If you’re in town, drop by for Four Barrel’s 2nd anniversary party. Happening tonight in the Mission.

Mathew makes a Hario pourover on the dedicated SO coffee bar

Merch wall and LM’s prototype espresso-only Shot Brewer

Down the street, Ritual has a new deliciously tangy espresso, called the Double Rainbow. Consisting of Costa Rican, Guatemalan, and Kenyan coffees, it was a nice espresso to have first thing in the morning. Further up in SOMA, Sightglass is inching forward in their grand build out of their new roastery/cafe. They are now officially roasting and serving their own coffees on their vintage La Marzocco GS/2. If things go according to plan, they’re set to open sometime Nov-Dec.

Heidi and Archie making my spro

This was a quick, last minute trip so I didn’t get to visit many of my other favorites in the city. Next January, however, will be a different story, when La Marzocco will be hosting OUT OF THE BOX SF(ish). Stay tuned for more info.

OUT OF THE BOX SF(ish)

Back in April, we had mentioned that we will be hosting an OUT OF THE BOX event in SF around September. Well, time sure does fly. Due to a variety of factors – including finding an appropriate venue and our attendance of Coffee Fest in October – we have decided to move the event to January 2011:

La Marzocco OUT OF THE BOX SF(ish)
January 18-19, 2011
Berkeley, CA

Activities will be similar to (and also more extensive than) OUT OF THE BOX NYC. As we work to work out the details, please stay tuned for future updates.

Ritual’s New Digs

Sweet beans of Esmeralda! Ritual‘s new roastery looks tight! Located in downtown SF, just south of Market St, it forms a nice midpoint in the downtown coffee corridor that includes Blue BottleSightglass, and now Ritual.

Here are a few pictures from their Open House:

Eileen, the one who puts the ritual in Ritual.

 

Big open space at the new roastery. It’s for roasting and operations use for now but there may be a retail cafe in the future.
Eileen and her GB/5.

How to Chemex by Verve

Verve‘s Truby and Baca servin it up! La Marzocco”s picture book makes a cameo in the bg.

http://vimeo.com/8252380

Also featuring how to drink espressos in Santa Cruz:

http://vimeo.com/8284595

SF Coffee Scene*

*Well, due to limitations in my travels last week (Thanksgiving), this is only partially representative of the city, not of greater SF or the Bay Area, which I hope to fully document someday.

SF is HOT! For coffee, that is. Roasters there are certainly bringin’ it with their coffees and their visions for the Third Wave (or Fourth Wave, for that matter).

Justin pulling shots on Four Barrel’s double Mistral

Take Four Barrel, for example. Ask the people there about what coffee most excites them right now and, to my surprise (and initial horror), they said DECAF! Now, I’m philosophically opposed to decaf and the only good decaf I’ve had was a decaf espresso from Verve a couple years ago. To my pleasant surprise, Four Barrel’s decaf espresso was amazing! Of the beans used in their decaf is the Ethiopia Mordecofe, a coffee hand picked by them for decaffeination (as opposed to coffees picked by decaffeination companies). Mordecofe is offered three ways at Four Barrel – decaffeinated, washed, and natural (highly recommended!).

Four Barrel has recently reopened their back alley bar, this time with a built in bar instead of a cart. The idea is to offer a more limited but more personable approach to customers that come through the alley. It will be operated by their head trainers and/or baristas in training from their wholesale accounts. It’s a terrific concept and I’ve had amazing shots in the back bar.

Down the street on Valencia is Ritual. The cafe is busy busy BUSY (which is a good thing)! Soon they’ll move the roaster and green bean storage to revert the area back to dining room style seating for a more intimate setting. On the coffee side, they’ve recently started offering Panama Esmeralda in special handmade packaging (very cool cardboard and spray paint!), just in time for the Holidays.

Blue Bottle’s cafe (with their Mechanical Paddle Linea) and roastery in Oakland. Note the warm Californian sun. How we so need it in Seattle.

Hop on the BART to Oakland and there is Blue Bottle‘s new roastery and a small cafe. The place is spectacularly clean (by that I mean clean and clean/sharp looking). In addition to the standard roasting/packaging area for coffees, office, and tech/training room, there is a cool presentation room, a full kitcken/bakery (they make killer chocolate chip cookies and $9 waffles), and a see through cupping room. If it wasn’t for the coffee equipment, the place might be mistaken for an art gallery.

Mechanical Paddle Linea at work at Blue Bottle’s BUSY cafe at SF Fisherman’s Terminal.

Back to SF side of the Bay at the Ferry Building (a touristy place for foodies) is one of Blue Bottle’s cafes, a very busy one at that. Featuring a Mechanical Paddle Linea as their main production machine, each espresso shot is expertly soft pre-infused for a nicely rounded, rich taste. With the Mechanical Paddle, the barista has more control (with variable pressure) over the soft pre-infusion process and thus requires a very well trained barista to continuously pull shots while there are a dozen people waiting in line.

Perhaps one of the most exciting up and coming roaster is Sightglass, just south of

Jerad and Ally of Sightglass. Pulling shots on their Slayer. Construction is afoot behind the wall of canvas.

Market in downtown. While their new roastery and cafe is still under construction, they are selling drinks on their cart to the passerby. Currently offering Verve coffee until their own roaster goes live (hopefully sometime later this month), they make fantastically prepared drinks every single time. With a huge space, a beautifully designed bar, and an u-shaped balcony seating area overlooking everything, this will be one of the most awe-inspiring coffee destinations for some time. If you go, be sure to try their mocha, which uses a specially sourced chocolate. It’s literally a chocolate cherry bomb.

GQ Ranks Top Cafes

GQ magazine showcases the top 10 places to get your daily fix in the U.S.

In “The Most Important Drink of Your Day“, GQ magazine hits home with the point that, “why pay $4.79 for a watery latte that was lovelessly made on a push-button machine that could be safely operated by a 4 year old?” (They’re referring to a superautomatic espresso machine, by the way)

In the “Golden Age of Coffee” (as they call it) that we now live in, “there’s now a wealth of coffee in America so rich and flavorful it’ll remind you why you originally fell in love with the stuff.”

Other than killer coffee and quality, what else do these featured coffee roasters have in common? They’re all customers of La Marzocco, of course.

Alterra
Blue Bottle
Caffe Vita
Intelligentsia
Kaldi’s
Ninth Street Espresso
Ritual
Stumptown
Verve
Zoka

Four Barrel Coffee SF

Four Barrel Coffee's Mistral
Four Barrel Coffee’s Mistral

In Jeremy Tooker’s newest venture, he combined lots of wood furniture, open space, wall mounted dead animal heads, dedicated cupping table, and, of course, awesome coffee. All of this resulted in what’s commonly referred to as Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission district of SF. Recently, they have just turned one year old, and they are sure doing well, pulling kickass espressos on their double Mistrals. They roast onsite and, if you’re in town, definitely check them out! They are literally down the street from another seriously excellent roaster, Ritual Coffee.

Animal heads and lots of coffee. Is that a wet boar note I taste in the coffee?
Animal heads and lots of coffee. Is that a wet boar note I taste in the coffee?

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