I just saw this story from the SF Weekly about how Ritual Coffee Roasters has stopped using its French presses and its Clovers, instead opting for the Hario V-60. Ritual, however, isn’t the only Bay Area café choosing sides in the single-cup battles. From the article:
San Francisco microroasters aren’t just differentiating their coffee by region or roast anymore. They’re each backing a particular brewing method. Four Barrel has stuck with the French press, but the rest are picking different pour-over systems. As anyone who’s ever passed a Blue Bottle kiosk will recognize, the standard is theBee House filter, a stylish upgrade of a $2 plastic Melitta cone that takes supermarket-bought filters. Sightglass Coffee belongs to the Chemex revival camp (this how-to video from Chicago’s Intelligentsia may have you investing in one ― price out the proprietary filters before you make your decision).
Also of note in the story is that you can now buy your very own Clover, whether or not you operate a Starbucks. Ritual is selling its four used machines for eight grand a piece.
Mostly, though, I think it’s very cool that cafés are distinguishing themselves by offering different pour-over or single cup options. I remember years ago visiting the East Bay and ordering a pour-over cup from a huge menus of coffees from Royal Coffee in Oakland (now a different café called Cole Coffee). I was blown away first by the number of choices in coffees I had and then by the cleanliness and flavor in the cup. I am excited by all of the options for single-cup coffees now available, and look forward to trying them all.