Category Archives: A scrap

New game in town

Welcome to Oakland
Welcome to Oakland

Farley’s — a café in San Francisco that I honestly have never been to — is opening a new location in my neighborhood (that neighborhood being the Grand Lake/Downtown area of Oakland). Which means, I guess, that I’d better check it out. The San Francisco location was, after all, voted Best of the Bay or something in some year or other by some local rag in addition to getting a stellar recc. from a trusted source.


First Impressions: Haus

It’s another day in The Mission. There must be another café opening. To the long list of “coffee v3.0” (aka CV3) cafés in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, you can add one more: Haus.

Haus opened just last month and, as far as San Francisco café concepts go, it’s definitely on the novel side. Most cafés that have opened up recently here in San Francisco, it seems, have a roaster attached to them – they roast in-house and sell their own beans – but there’s another model for the CV3 café that hasn’t been put into practice as much here as it has on our other coast’s nascent coffee mecca, New York City. That model presents the same care and respect for the bean as the in-house roasting group but features coffee from either respected local roasters or from roasters with a solid reputation from all over the country. Haus veers more toward the former by featuring coffees from two highly respected local roasters: Ritual and De La Paz. Haus offers espresso and press-pot coffee. When I came in, they were offering Ritual’s Hopscotch on the espresso machine and De La Paz (a Costa Rica…whose name escapes me and which I can’t find any reference to on their website) from the press. I’m not sure weather that lineup will change – I’d love it if there was some variety – and I’m also unsure weather Ritual will exclusively preside over the espresso side while De La Paz takes the press-pot. I’ll need to look into this a bit more.

This scrap is a preliminary look – I’ll have a more detailed exploration after I’ve given Haus a few good tries – so I won’t go into excruciating details at this point. But, a few points:

What I liked:

  • I found the decor to be quite pleasant. All “bare” unfinished wood cool and stark. I found the vibe (if you will) to be relaxed.
  • They have a back patio and bench seating out front. Hopefully The Mission will serve up some of it’s trademark weather so both can be put to good use.
  • Wi-fi. I like it. Yeah, I’m one of those people.
  • The multi-roaster concept is a good one and I think could stand better representation within the raft of cafés popping up in SF. A small selection of De La Paz and Ritual beans are available for sale. I bought a bag of the Sumatra Gayoland from De La Paz – which is also curiously absent from the De la Paz site) and will review it shortly.

What I didn’t care for as much:

  • The shot of Ritual’s “Hopscotch” espresso that was pulled for me could have used a little more TLC. The crema was thin and broke apart at the first slosh of the cup. It was thin tasting as well. To Ritual’s credit, it wasn’t horrible, but greater attention could have been paid, I think. Maybe it’s a training issue, maybe it’s just inconsistency. Time will tell.
  • This isn’t necessarily a knock on Haus but the Costa Rica from De La Paz was nothing extraordinary. It was the classic C.R.: lemony acidity, light body. Good, solid but not great. Maybe I’m just spoiled now, though.

Like I said, preliminary. Gotta give a café a chance, after all. In the meantime, check out Man Seeking Coffee’s take on Haus. I’ll be back.

Almost There

As it appears I have become a de facto town crier, of sorts, self-charged with keeping the Eater SF readership apprised of the progress Four Barrel is making towards the commencement of the roasting side of it’s business four-barrel-roaster-composite(case 1, case 2), I could not help but snap a quick photo, the other morning, when I stopped in to the nascent Mission café for a cappuccino, a pumpkin & chocolate chip donut and a bag of beans (more, on that bag of beans, later, of course).

This time I even talked to an honest-to-goodness human being about the time frame 4B is looking at for getting this beast up and running. “Very close”, is the answer I received from the man on the other side of the back counter (utilizing my razor sharp powers of perception I quickly made the determination, since he was on the other side of the counter from where the customers were standing, that he must have kind some authority on the matter).

By the time you read this they should have the gas and electric hooked up. Who knows, by the next time you walk on in to Four Barrel for your morning — or afternoon, for that matter … or evening — pick-me-up, the air might just be smelling a little sweeter.