Four Barrel – San Francisco (US)

Meet The Mission’s sanctuary for all those in need of a perfect cuppa Joe. You’ll feel safe and welcome here. Believe us.

  • opening times:
    Mo - Sa: 7 - 20, Su: 8 - 20
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsiteTwitter
  • price check:
    Espresso: $3 / Flat White: $4
  • machine:
    Slayer
  • coffees on offer:
    various espresso and filter roasts
  • milk:
    Clover

The last time I went to San Francisco four years ago I was still in the very early stages of developing my idea for The Coffeevine and to be perfectly honest, I knew practically nothing about great coffee. In fact, it was my friend Kaleb who I stayed with in Seattle on that very trip who got me onto this whole new path because every morning he would freshly grind and brew a delicious cuppa coffee for us both. Maybe it was fate then that during my second visit to Four Barrel Coffee, Kaleb and his girlfriend Becca would be with me when we met owner Matthew Hein for a little tour of Four Barrel’s awesome roastery on Valencia Street. Kaleb, I still thank you today!

Incredible view of the space

Incredible view of the space

When we arrived on that sunny Wednesday morning, Hein was still in a deep conversation with his Account Manager Brian but as soon as he was aware of our presence he jumped right over to us and enthusiastically shook our hands. Hein can only be described as a wonderful ball of energy who bounces around his roastery and keeps everyone on their toes. Before heading to the back of the facilities he showed us his beautiful drip bar where a gorgeous cuppa coffee was already being prepared for us to taste. We then quickly moved towards the back to get a commanding view of the space from a little viewing platform that is also home to a vintage four barrel roaster from Arnhem, Holland. Hence the name.

Barista preparing a cappuccino at Four Barrel

Barista preparing a cappuccino at Four Barrel

Hein joined the business in 2009 and only shortly after took over the operations and has been the driving force behind building a brand that is now known all across the Bay Area and further afield. Four Barrel is one of the city’s most prominent specialty coffee businesses and their commitment to quality goes beyond roasting and preparing great tasting coffees. “My team spends about nine months out of the year traveling and hunting down amazing coffees. It’s a tough job but the guys love it and the gems they come across literally blow your mind,” Hein said as we moved next door to join head trainer Taylor for a cupping.

One of their latest discoveries is a very unique coffee from Ethiopia that grows at an altitude of 2,000m above sealevel and as Hein said: “This cooperative is so remote that you sometimes ask yourself if you’re actually going somewhere real or whether someone is playing a joke on you.” We had the chance to savour some of their latest coffees including their first ever Nicaraguan offerings. As Taylor explained to us and the other participants: “We really struggled to find a Finca or processing station that could meet our quality standards, which is why Nicaragua hasn’t featured in our portfolio until now. But these two coffees (Anibal & La Ilusion) are just plain gorgeous.”

The four barrel roaster

The four barrel roaster

Later we ventured back into the main roastery to sip on some more expertly brewed coffee while Hein said his goodbyes and flew off to attend to some business. Needless to say, the welcome we received and the incredible experience of being able to go backstage at one of the city’s most prominent coffee roasters goes beyond what we expected. Thanks again for being such fabulous hosts.

Hein walking us next door

Hein walking us next door

At the cupping

At the cupping

View from the door

View from the door

Drip bar

Drip bar

Espresso bar

Espresso bar

Coffee offering

Coffee offering

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