Ritual Ditches the French Press ... and the Clover, Too
|Ritual's V-60 pour-over station.|
San Francisco microroasters aren't just differentiating their coffee by region or roast anymore. They're each backing a particular brewing method. Four Barrel has stuck with the French press, but the rest are picking different pour-over systems. As anyone who's ever passed a Blue Bottle kiosk will recognize, the standard is the Bee House filter, a stylish upgrade of a $2 plastic Melitta cone that takes supermarket-bought filters. Sightglass Coffee belongs to the Chemex revival camp (this how-to video from Chicago's Intelligentsia may have you investing in one ― price out the proprietary filters before you make your decision). Now, it seems, Ritual is backing the V-60.
|Top view of the V-60.|
What was the reason for the banishment of the Clover machine, which is supposed to be the ne plus ultra of coffee makers? "It created a really good smelling cup of coffee, but it didn't taste as good," Jason said. "Plus it was really expensive to maintain." (Not to mention the Starbucks association, which caused a couple of A-list roasters to sell off their machines in 2008.) If you're interested in picking up one of Ritual's four discarded machines, they're on the market at a discount: $8K apiece.
You can also buy a V-60 setup for home use at Ritual for $25 (or directly from Hario for as low as $7); the coffeehouse sells a pack of 100 filters for $8.50. Of course, that's only just the beginning. If you, O Third Wave convert, go down the rabbit hole, you'll next have to drop $100-$250 on a proper burr grinder, $40 on an electronic scale, and $70 on a tea kettle with a fine spout so you don't "drown" the grounds.
Which makes a $6.50 cup of coffee at Ritual seem a little cheaper.
Ritual Coffee Roasters 1026 Valencia (at 21st St.), 641-1011