Ritual Coffee Roasters

Overall Rating: 8.650

Address: 1026 Valencia St.
Cross Street(s): Btwn 21st & 22nd Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission
Phone: 415.641.1024
Hours: M-Th 6am-8pm; F-Sa 6am-10pm; Su 7am-8pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.80
Barista: 9
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 9
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Synesso
Coffee Rating: 8.50
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 9
Crema: 8
Flavor: 9
Taster's Correction: 0.5
Size: M
Primary Taste: Candy-like
Coffee Beans: Ritual Coffee Roasters
Cup Manufacturer: Le Porcellane d'ANCAP
Price: $3.00
Last Update: 02/02/2015
First Reviewed: 06/17/2005
Notes: Coffee Sales

They've long said they take their coffee seriously, but not themselves. They got first part right. Eileen Hassi's busy café opened in May 2005 (with Jeremy Tooker, now of Four Barrel) with a long, modern, clean space with many tables and thrift store living room sets in the back. But that and the free Wi-Fi virtually killed the vibe here. A 2014 remodel is now starkly clean and minimalist, with a white/black/red color scheme. It very much looks ripped off from the Montgomery St. Coffee Bar, save for the succulent garden in back, but it works. They got rid of chairs and Wi-Fi and, well, vagrants. They originally used and sold Stumptown's Hair Bender, but they've long since started roasting their own - at first with an on site Probat (since removed). They've replaced their shiny red, three-group La Marzocco FB70 with a GB/5 and then a three-group Synesso and now two custom Synesso machines. Mazzer and Mahlkönig grinders. The baristas are well-trained: they grind to order, they pour directly in the cup where appropriate, and they take their time making a deliberate tamp - even down to the final twist. They roast their coffees bright, bordering on underripe fruit. They produce an espresso (a regular and rotating seasonal blend) with a mottled medium-to-dark brown crema of modest thickness and some congealed richness. Flavorwise, there's a caramel sweetness combined with a good mid-range palate (roasted hazelnut, etc.) and sharp acidity in the finish - which is a little like a trademark. It's this broader flavor profile and reduced emphasis on underripe fruit that raised its flavor score since our 2013 visits. If you're into milk-based drinks, the rosetta latte art can vary from award-winning to amateur, depending upon the barista shift, but they get the fine microfoam down well.