four barrel cafe,
375 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
ordered: cafe mocha
WITHIN THE PULSE of an over-crowded cafe, loud spurts of laughter weave between conversations, filling the empty spaces in keyboards. Roasting coffee brews a hazy warmth over the room. I came to this cafe around 5 pm, just as the last light was disappearing. The energy here was still high; there were still soft moments worth noticing...
There is something to be said for the aroma alone that the roasting coffee here ignites.
"Our roasters have spent years perfecting the art of using their experience, senses, intuition and knowledge to make adjustments and take the coffee where it needs to go. Modern technology is simply no match...it takes patience, dedication, understanding and willingness to interact with coffee in this way everyday. We taste the fruits of their labor every morning in our double americanos and our cups of kenya miroroma pour-over and challenge anyone who scoffs at the notion that the art of roasting is anything less than the work of a lifetime " - four barrel, via
It's as simple as this. When coffee is made with care, from its origins as a sourced green plant, to the relationships cultivated with farmers across the world, it shows in the first sip of coffee we take from our barista's mug. Not only is their coffee great (even Dandelion Chocolate down the street mixes Four Barrel coffee with their chocolate, and it's the Best Thing Ever), I was so infatuated with the little coffee mugs they served here, I asked the barista for their source. He not only gave me the company name, he gave me the owner's business card& contact, and a little history. Impressive, no?
Cafe's are my comfort spot. They always have been. It's a little indulgent, sure. But sometimes we need several hours of self-indulgent bliss. And Nico's sweet voice in the background. I find that good friends, strangers even, open up more, feel freer to engage in deep conversation with a steaming cup in hand. When I'm alone, looking up from what I'm doing an hour later, to find the daylight nearly gone, is beautiful. I love glancing up now and then, just noticing- anonymous strangers walking in, the way rays of light hit the chair, the barista deep in concentration. I love watching artists draw other people, observing people, observing.
All photos taken with Mamiya film camera.