Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ritual Coffee Roasters Roastery Tour

Tuesday afternoon I went on a free one-hour tour of Ritual Coffee's roastery in a warehouse space on Howard Street. The tour is part of a week of events put on by SFMade to promote manufacturing within San Francisco. A well-behaved group of more than 25 showed up. Ritual Coffee owner & founder Eileen Hassi led our tour. Standing among burlap sacks of dried coffee seeds, she explained the entire process from coffee tree to roasted beans. The company sources beans directly from the farmers that grow them, & Ms. Hassi considers the high quality of these beans to be the company's competitive advantage. They aim for a coffee that is "clean, sweet & bright."

Ritual Coffee RoasteryThe roastery has recently started using a vintage German roaster made in 1956, though it looks like it could be a 19th century steam engine. Ms. Hassi was clearly proud to own it. It takes 15 minutes to roast one 40 pound batch of coffee. The master roaster took careful notes during the entire process.

Ms. Hassi is wonderfully enthusiastic & unjaded about the business. When someone asked what was the difference between coffee & espresso, she was eager to explain. Naturally people wanted to know her favorite way of preparing coffee, & she responded by showing us a fancy conical drip filter. We also learned that she recently ate at a well-known restaurant, & the server refused to bring her an after-dinner coffee, pleading, "I know who you are!"

§ Ritual Coffee Roasters Roastery Tour
SFMade Week

No comments: