Four Barrel Coffee is just cool. The artisanal coffee wholesaler’s several cafes serves its killer quality coffee. The cafe play music off vinyl, there is no wifi to encourage a community atmosphere, they have a vintage German roasting station in the back, they serve Dynamo Donuts, what else could one want out of a coffee shop?
Yes, it would be nice to have to wait a long time in line, however waiting for the baristas to craft the perfect cup is worth it. It would be great if there was more turn in seating, but folks really love to read, write, chat and linger for quite some time and it is a queue for seating.
The coffee roaster is looking for coffee qualities of cleanness, sweetness and acidity. Artful non? We loved the description of the roasting process “our roasters learn about their roasts only by cupping and making the connection between the decisions that they made during the roasting process and tasting the results on the cupping table. this kind of direct contact with the coffee throughout the roasting and evaluating process connects us to the coffees that we buy in a very personal way. it takes patience, dedication, understanding and willingness to interact with coffee in this way everyday.”
We enjoyed a tart and spiced chocolate donut from Dyanamo. The cake-like chocolate donut was coated in cinnamon and sugar, chipotle and chile. So perfect with a cup of coffee. In fact, this donut reminded us of our attempt to make Baked Raised Doughnuts.
After sampling Four Barrel, the main contenders in SF include Sightglass, Blue Bottle and Philz (BMH’s reviews of Sightglass and Blue Bottle). Each has its own unique attributes, ambiance and style of coffee, but the main commonality is quality.