By Roni Davis
Aside from writing easy recipes for you guys to try out, I am also a barista and have been for about 3 years. I am crazy about coffee so my favorite thing to do when I travel is to find all the great coffee shops and spend way too much time getting my caffeine high on. On my most recent trip to San Francisco I thought I’d document and share with you my experiences with great coffee and great atmosphere.
So I love Philz for many reasons, one of those reasons being that it shares a name with my father, the other (obvious) reason is that it’s just great coffee. I try and make a point to head over there at least once every time I go to California. Their thing is specialized “drip” coffee. This isn’t the place to go for your iced soy latte (although my guilty pleasure.) They have a few wonderful coffees to choose from that you can get over ice and “sweet and creamy.” This time around I tried two drinks I hadn’t previously, the first was the gingersnap iced coffee and the other was the mint mojito iced coffee. Both were delicious, although I must admit I may be a bit more partial to the gingersnap iced coffee.
Four Barrel Coffee (375 Valencia St)
This was my personal favorite coffee spot we stopped in on the trip. When you walk in, the coffee house is HUGE with multiple counters to order from. The decor was to die for with lots of fun wallpaper and visuals and fresh flowers (which I am always a sucker for.) In the back of the house you can watch while they roast their own beans. The whole experience was very engaging. They also had quite a bit of merchandise which I (of course) indulged in. This time around I ordered an almond milk latte (they use my favorite brand of almond milk!!!!!) and the cutest maple bacon donut. The coffee was strong and the donut was sweet. Needless to say, I left a happy woman.
Andytown Coffee Roasters (3655 Lawton St)
This coffee shop is so adorable with such a beachy laid back vibe. (Add points for all the dogs outside, my puppy was so happy to make some friends and be pet by passersby!) I am still kicking myself for not talking more pictures of the inside of this coffee shop because it was seriously adorable. While it’s relatively small with not much inside seating there is some outside seating available. I sat outside with my beloved puppy, Pancake (maybe I’ll introduce him to you guys sometime.) Let me just say I LOATH whipped cream, and maybe that’s a cardinal sin but it just doesn’t work for me. When I got here I saw one of the baristas scooping out what looked to me like some homemade whipped cream, and in that moment- I knew I had to have it. I decided to order an espresso con panna (basically just espresso with whipped cream) with their single origin. I was not disappointed! The whipped cream was a great texture and not overly sweet. I loved this cute little coffee shop, I will definitely be going back again.
Fifty/Fifty Coffee and Tea (3157 Geary Blvd)
This was a tiny little coffee shop on the corner I stopped in quickly when I was in desperate need of caffeine before a long day full of walking and driving around. I came here specifically because I heard they had great iced matcha lattes which I am an absolute fiend for. I ordered mine with soy and loved how they gave it to me layered with the matcha on top so I could stir it myself. It was probably on of the best matcha lattes I’ve ever had. It had very subtle hints of sweetness and an after taste of jasmine tea (which I love.) The green tea flavor was really the star of the show which I don’t feel happens enough.
Ritual Coffee (1026 Valencia St)
Ritual coffee was awesome with an incredible espresso machine I was lusting over. I loved they had little informational cards about all kinds of brew processes- such as cold brew, pour over etc. The staff was super friendly. They had an adorable cactus garden in the back and the whole place was huge and super clean with lots of seating. I got an (admittedly boring) soy latte that I drank in about .3 seconds. I got the feeling that they were pretty environmentally conscious which I also like a lot. I also saw there are a few locations- all equally adorable.