Tag Archives: San Francisco

Getting Closer and Closer to Transamerica in San Francisco.

Broadway, Grant, Columbus, Jackson, Kearny… those are just some of the streets I walked along or crossed as I got closer and closer to the iconic Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. The Transamerica is the tallest and most well-known part of San Fran’s skyline. It sits 850 feet tall and is 48 stories, but there is no public access except for the first level. It’

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Hi Transamerica! I got as close as possible without actually going in the four-sided pyramid, looking straight up at this point. πŸ™‚

#ElCafeDe2013: The Coffee of Sightglass in San Fran.

This past summer I spent a morning in San Francisco coffee shop hopping. The coffee train took me to 7th Street in the SoMa neighborhood and Sightglass Coffee. Who’s that guy with the camera in the windows reflection? πŸ™‚

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

Upon entering I immediately noticed the wide open spaces. Sightglass is independent, non-chain and family owned. I was at what is soon to be known as their original location. They will soon open a cafe and roastery along 20th Street in the Mission. πŸ™‚

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

The coffee of choice was the Kiawamururu, Kenya Pour Over. I chatted and shared some laughs with the barista while my coffee was hand crafted and came to life.

I passed by the cream & sugar stand long enough to grab a pic…

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

…and found a spot first by the coffee roaster. The seating was unique and non-uniform throughout.

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

I enjoy drinking the coffee straight. It had a candy-like sweetness and syrupy feel. Checkout all the bags of coffee beans in the background ready to be roasted. The coffee beans process is watched and followed closely all the way down to the farm level to make sure me and all the other coffee fanatics are getting a unique and beautiful cup of coffee.

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

I proceeded to enjoy the coffee deliciousness from the upstairs balcony as well.

Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco coffee shop

There I am again shooting a picture of myself, though this time with the Sightglass Coffee pour over in hand! The shot is from in front of the unique bathroom sink and mirror which sits outside the unisex bathrooms on each side.

It was a great first experience at Sightglass Coffee with great coffee, service, conversation and atmosphere. I look forward to returning to the SoMa neighborhood again soon and also getting to the Mission.

Checkout the time I spent at my other coffee stops in San Francisco that morning: Four Barrel Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee and Ritual Coffee Roasters.

What coffee shops in San Francisco would you recommend checking out?

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Return for More!

I’ve talked about when on the prowl for coffee to look for somewhere new to go whether traveling or at home. There is nothing like experiencing a place or a coffee that you haven’t before. At the same time though, if you find a place you love, especially in a part of the world you frequent, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go back. In other words…

Tip #23: …return for more!

I’m in San Francisco often and Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission District will be one of the first places I go to upon returning. Recently I made it to the area of 15th and Valencia and went through their non-descriptive entrance…

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

…and ordered a CafΓ© Latte from the friendly barista.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

That wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to experience more of Four Barrel. I ordered a Guatemala Cadejo made via a french press and got water alongside for the ride. πŸ™‚

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

They were using their vintage-german roaster on barrel after barrel of coffee beans right in front of me. While drinking the coffee deliciousness I decided to get a bag of coffee whole beans for the road. After experiencing and liking the Guatemala Cadejo, that was the choice.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

Upon leaving I checked out the outside seating…

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

…and custom-built bike racks, some of which were vertical. Make note. Even with the popularity of biking in the city and the Mission, it would definitely be easier to use the bike rack then trying to find a parking spot even in the early morning.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

The coffee beans wanted a picture too.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

Checkout the post from my Four Barrel visit last year. You could say I “returned for more”! πŸ™‚ No doubt when my feet are on the ground in San Francisco again, Four Barrel will be on the itinerary.

In your travels or around home, what’s a spot that you’d recommend, that you keep going to over and over again?

San Francisco: Coffee-ing it up in Hayes Valley.

It was an early morning in San Francisco recently and I made it over to the fashionable and scenic Hayes Valley neighborhood and the corner of Hayes and Octavia.

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

Just onto Octavia my feet took me to a shipping container that is home to Ritual Coffee Roasters.

Ritual Coffee, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

Ritual Coffee has been a San Francisco based coffee roaster since 2005. I smiled upon seeing the red cup-and-star logo as I reached the counter.

Ritual Coffee, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

The pour overs and hand crafted coffees were being made one after another for those that came by. The baristas were nice and knowledgable, making sure everyone was getting a great coffee beverage.

Ritual Coffee, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

I went the Macchiato route on this visit, taking one of their cups as a souvenir. πŸ™‚

Ritual Coffee, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

The lounge chairs just outside the container was my home for a few, even though it was misting slightly. The light rain was no factor as the flavor of the macchiato and watching the happenings in the neighborhood was my focus.

Ritual Coffee Roasters, Hayes Valley, San Francisco

After capturing the scene at Ritual I walked across Octavia and into Patricia’s Green. The park is surrounded by lots of color and all the boutique, coffee and foodie options in the neighborhood.

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

You’ll find lots of romantic park bench seating opportunities. A good place to hangout and people and dog watch. Hayes Valley has the feel of a small-town, even though it’s right in the middle of a big city.

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

It was time to head off Octavia and onto Linden Street for more exploration and coffee deliciousness.

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

Opposite Ritual and facing Linden is the Smitten Ice Cream shipping container. Based on the reviews, I’m sure they will see me soon. πŸ™‚

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

Walking onto Linden I noticed lots of bicycles on both sides of the street. Finding bikes for rent is a pretty common occurrence in San Francisco. Anytime I see bikes in the city it immediately makes me think of the 1980’s Kevin Bacon movie, Quicksilver. Always have had a thing for San Francisco based movies!

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

As you walk down the tree and flower lined Linden it’s a good bet you’ll see people congregating before the next intersection.

Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

What could they be doing? They are hanging out and getting ready to order at my next coffee stop, the Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk.

Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

The kiosk and outside location keeps you right in the middle of the happenings of the neighborhood, just like Ritual, as your ordering and enjoying your coffee.

Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

Blue Bottle is a coffee roaster headquartered in nearby Oakland. Everyone who orders here is guaranteed of getting a coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster.

Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

Always checking out the cream and sugar stands, here is one of the portable variety.

Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

I went with a basic espresso, enjoying the few sips and shot of caffeine while watching people come and go. The drink might have been small but so so good as always at Blue Bottle Coffee, a cult-favorite amongst fellow coffee drinkers. The lines you’ll find at their various locations in the Bay Area and New York City say all you need to know. Gotta love seeing the blue bottled logo up close. πŸ™‚

Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk, Hayes Valley, San Francisco, California

That ended my morning stay in Hayes Valley. It was a fun morning exploring and coffee-ing it up in the neighborhood. It’s a recommended part of the city I will come back to hang out at and enjoy some more craft coffee.

What neighborhoods do recommend in San Francisco to hang out at and checkout the coffee scene? In any city?

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Bring on the Chocolate!

While walking down the Embarcadero in San Francisco I was thinking about getting a coffee beverage once I reached the Ferry Building. While walking past Pier 17 though something caught the eye, the TCHO Beta Factory Store.

TCHO chocolate, San Francisco

TCHO, pronounced β€œchoh!”, is a luxury chocolate maker headquartered here along the waterfront. I went in to take a look, being a huge fan of chocolate and…

TCHO chocolate, San Francisco

TCHO chocolate, San Francisco

…immediately noticed there was caffeinated beverage opportunity!

TCHO chocolate, San Francisco

I ordered an iced TCHOchocolate mocha. It was refreshing and delicious chocolate combined with Blue Bottle espresso (a major local bonus yum) and milk.

TCHO chocolate, San Francisco

While enjoying the deliciousness I realized they give chocolate factory tours, but you need to sign up in advance. Something for a future visit along with checking out their unique chocolate methodology and product selection more in-depth.

TCHO chocolate, San Francisco

Drinking coffee straight, downing espresso shots and giving your java a kick with whiskey all have their place in this year of coffee. If you have the chance though also…

Tip #20: …bring on the Chocolate!

I would wind up consuming coffee at the Ferry Building too of course but what a way to start the day in San Francisco by stopping at TCHO.