San Francisco!

Long story short: the Barefoot folk throw a damn fine BBQ. They wore me out so I crashed early, but Clara kept going. A true champ. So we woke up at the leisurely hour of 9 this morning and headed for San Francisco. Have we mentioned it’s HOT here in the Bay Area, California in general actually? Heat wave. Don’t like it. Anyway, so we got here and came into Ritual for iced Americanos at Ritual, served by Drew. Hooray — a life saver. Then we were off to check out Blue Bottle’s famed siphon operation, and man, was it worth the months of waiting it’s taken me to get here…

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Here’s my Idido…

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The set-up is so pro.

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This iced Brazilian was unbelievable. It brews for between 20 and 30 hours.

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A word of thanks…

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The menu. We had the Limu and the Idido, and then I made friends with the guy next to me so I could try his Sumatra. And then they gave us tastes of the Brazilian. And then Clara got an Americano made on the GB5. And THEN, James (Blue Bottle owner duh) made me a shot on the San Marco!

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It was coffee heaven.

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The siphon bar is so spectacular that I just sat and watched the process over and over.

After a nice conversation with James and his uber informed baristas, it was off to 4Barrel to see what Jeremy Tooker — one of the original owners of Ritual, and Barista Mag cover boy circa Dec/Jan 2006 — has been up to!

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For the past few months, 4Barrel has been operating a Mistral using Stumptown for service out of the back door of what is going to be one of the most bitchen roastery/cafes in the world. NO JOKE. This place is absolutely phenomenal. Jeremy says they’re just waiting for their meter and then the doors will be opening for good.

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The space was a Harley Davidson gathering place for many years, then an upholstery place, and when Jeremy took it over, it needed to be completely gutted.

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It’s tricked out with everything from metal tables that can be raised and lowered with a crank to boars’ heads on the wall.

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Jeremy got them offa ebay. Under the boars heads is this train set secured in epoxy. if you look close, you can see the boars getting hit by the train…

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The tables are made from reclaimed cross beams…

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Jeremy’s still working on the final logo… here’s the general idea:

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The front half of the space is the cafe part, and the back half is the roastery.

And Jeremy had another new project to show off:

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That’s his six week old baby, Rogan.

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I don’t even have to say it, but I will: he’s soooooooooo cute.

I will miss the back-door make-shift cafe — I love how it’s kind of a pit that you crawl into…

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The signage…

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And the way customers sort of take over the alley it faces:

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We said our goodbyes and went to get our burritos on. Holla.

And then we went back to Ritual I’m writing this from the bar as I watch M’lissa clean up and get ready for the ping pong fundraiser tonight…

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You can see from the above photo that it’s HOT here. People wearing shorts and tank tops in San Francisco? It doesn’t happen often enough…

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There’ll be a lot of people here tonight… the Flying Goat crew is already here, and some of the Verve peeps just walked in. Gotta go warm up my ping pong arm now. More from the blog tomorrow!

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