Réveille Coffee

Saturday mornings should always start out like this.

Robyne and I ventured to North Beach in San Francisco to get brunch at Park Tavern (which was epic and I highly recommend, especially for the avocado toast). Afterwords we looked on Thrillist’s guide to SF Coffee Shops (Source: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/san-francisco/best-sf-coffee-shops-neighborhood-guide) and saw that Réveille was recommended for North Beach. Since it was pretty close to Park Tavern, we decided to continue our adventure and walk over.

At Réveille Coffee Co., the approach is simple: They offer unparalleled coffee, food, hospitality and service. The staff was extremely friendly and knowledgable, the space was modern, clean and very open, the beverages were high quality, and there was a perfect patio outside with ample seating.

Robyne chose to try their cold brew while I ordered the iced almond milk latte, mostly because I really wanted to try their espresso-based beverages (I also had a shot of straight espresso to really experience the full flavor profiles, without the dilution and distraction from the almond milk). 

While waiting for our beverages we got to talking with the chatty barista Michael who informed us that Réveille only started roasting their coffee a month ago (this is only the 4th time they’ve roasted the Paradise Espresso). They started with a truck, and now have 3 brick & mortar stores and are roasting their beans in the Mission. Prior to roasting their own beans, they were one of Four Barrel’s largest wholesale accounts. Apparently they thought it was going to be a hard switch, but the transition has been going really well for the internal teams. They admit they still have a lot to learn, but their roaster Aaron has put a lot of love into his work and the entire team is embracing it.

The espresso blend was comprised of beans from Guatemala, Colombia, and Brazil, and they’re really excited to hone in the technique of getting the espresso exactly where they want it, which goes back to how coffee is really a perfect blend of art and science. The espresso was full of dark chocolate and traditional espresso on the nose, with tasting notes of vanilla, dark chocolate, and orange peel, with the bitterness of cherry. There was a crisp bite to the espresso, which reminded me of the Monkey Bite espresso from Bird Rock Coffee Roaster in San Diego. They use the Califia Barista Blend of Almond Milk, which really smoothed out the intense flavor of the espresso for a perfect almond milk latte.

Fun Fact: The Réveille website offers step-by-step brewing techniques for your at-home coffee indulgence. My personal favorite is for Chemex: http://www.reveillecoffee.com/chemex  

Website: http://www.reveillecoffee.com/

Address: 200 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
   
   

Simply Presenting Beautiful Coffee

Bar Nine is tucked away on a side street in Culver City with a nondescript facade, with only the number 9 on a gate making it known you’re in the right place. You enter to see a bar and roasting facilities, and despite being a hipster warehouse, the industrial setting is comfortable and inviting.

The coffee of the day at Bar Nine is Kayu Peaberry from Murang’a, Kenya, with intense bursts of boysenberry and passion fruit, and nuanced sweetness. Seeing as how peaberry is my weakness, being my preferred choice for black coffee, I was thrilled to find it also makes a wonderfully smooth cold brew. When mixed with their hazelnut milk, made in house daily, the cold brew picks up a strong caramel color. The hazelnut milk provides the perfect balancing act, with a hint of nuttiness playing off the sweet fruit flavors of the peaberry.  

Bar Nine’s coffee program is unique in that it only has one coffee available per day, which can be served any way you can think of, ranging from espresso to drip coffee. They have three coffees in rotation on the menu, with each week owning one of these varieties. They roast all of their beans in house (if you don’t believe them simply based off the large area of beans in burlap bags, I can vouch for them; I was there during a roasting session). Post-roasting, they like to let their beans sit/rest for a day and a half before having them hop over to the bar. And as if all of that wasn’t enough reason to make this a must-stop coffee shop, they even let you keep the glass jar!   

  
   

Blue Bottle Cold Brew in Downtown LA

Cold brews are necessary during LA heat waves.

I was surprised at how empty, calm, and quiet the Blue Bottle in Downtown LA on Mateo was on a Monday morning.  The bright and spacious Blue Bottle reminded me of the location in Mint Plaza, including the somewhat unfortunate fact that neither have wifi.

Blue Bottle’s single origin cold brew from Honduras, served black, was complex and refreshing, with nut-forward tasting notes and low acidity.  It had a milk chocolate body with stone fruit quality; strong and very concentrated.  As I’ve noticed with many coffees from Central America, the chocolate notes were prominent. The process for Blue Bottle’s cold brew includes a Toddy Brew, finely grinding the beans, steeping them in water for 18 hours, then draining them through a filter, and serving over ice.

One of the aesthetic highlights of ordering Blue Bottle’s cold brew is the bright-yet-simple blue logo on the side of the cup. DSC_0731

National Coffee Day

Happy National Coffee Day to all my fellow caffeine addicts and coffee lovers out there!

To celebrate this special holiday I started my day off with cold brewed coffee. But wait, it gets better. I started my day off with two free cold brewed coffees. Thanks to Fun and Cheap SF I knew that Bread & Cocoa was giving away free cold brewed coffee to the first 100 people, starting at 8am. Obviously I planned my day around making it there in time to take up this opportunity to celebrate my favorite holiday. I talked to the knowledgeable and friendly roaster and got to know a bit more about their commercial roasters company (Mr. Espresso Oak Wood Roasting) and the cold brewed coffees I was lucky (and determined) enough to enjoy. It turns out that they are the people that launched the coffee program that now exists at Bread and Cocoa!

The cold brew today was their 7 bridges blend, which relates well to the Bay Area and to connects with the people here. Since it’s never brewed hot, it allows you to really taste the coffee notes without bitterness and acidity because the coffee never has to be cooled down. The beans are from South and Central America, then roasted in Oakland. The main flavor profile is velvety, with flavor notes with different levels of sweetness, including brown sugar and dark chocolate. This blend is roasted pretty dark, mixed with dark and light beans that complement each other with smokiness.

A few takeaways:
1. I love cold brewed coffee.
2. It left an amazing after taste.
3. The best (and only real) way to celebrate National Coffee Day is with multiple cups of coffee.

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