Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Local Coffee Shop Makes Good (Coffee)

After mentioning one of our great local eateries, Boogaloos, when giving our city a good economic colonoscopy a while back, now one of our local coffee shops, Ritual, made it into "The Economist" for having a fancy coffee machine.

NEAR the hard-working espresso machine at Ritual Coffee Roasters, a café in San Francisco, sits a stainless-steel box about the size of a desktop computer. This box, the Clover, produces a cup of coffee with a spectacle of streaming water, whirring motors and an ingenious inverse plunger. Zander Nosler, the industrial designer who invented the Clover nearly three years ago, seems to have done the impossible: attracted a cult following for a new coffee-making machine that is both slower and vastly more expensive than other machines and requires the undivided attention of a trained operator.
Now these two establishments are actually more or less across the street from one another in the Mission. And they are, by far, two of the most hipster establishments in the city.

Boogaloos is where everyone goes for breakfast the morning after a big night out at Casanova, Delirium, Beauty Bar, Latin American Club, etc. You see some crazy hipster outfits (a la BSL) and some people who obviously never went to sleep the night before. Great breakfast, even better people watching.

And then there's Ritual. Ritual is a coffee shop, that no matter what day, nor time of day you walk into, all the tables are full with people on laptops. Sure, some of them are students, but not all of them. The rest are "writers," or "bloggers," or "trustifarians,"and most of the time all three. And again, very very hipster. You need to have at least one visible tattoo and 3 pair of skinny jeans to work there, and there are more fixed gear bikes locked up outside than are in the inventory of the worker-owned non-profit cooperative bike shop down the street. But, the coffee there is incredible.

And honestly, I can't think of anything that would make this place more hipster than a $11k coffee machine that requires a trained technician to produce an incredibly slow $6 cup of coffee.

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