Sightglass – San Francisco (US)

Here’s one of San Fran’s three big coffee roasters whose stunning HQ offers a chance to get up, close and personal with excellent coffee.

  • opening times:
    Mo - Sa: 7 - 19, Su: 8 - 19
  • wifi:
    No
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsiteTwitter
  • price check:
    Espresso: $3 / Flat White: $3.50
  • machine:
    La Marzocco Strada
  • coffees on offer:
    various espresso and filter roasts
  • milk:
    Clover

One of the highlights of my recent visit to San Francisco was meeting up with the guys of Sightglass Coffee. As someone who regularly follows US coffee sites and blogs, I was already quite familiar with these guys’ brand but visiting their gorgeous roastery on 7th Street certainly added an extra “wow effect” to the experience. Before arriving I had arranged a little chat with Peter Smith who is Sightglass’ Wholesale Manager. Nothing better than getting a personal tour when visiting a place like this!

View of the drip bar

View of the drip bar

When I arrived, Peter was already waiting for me right next to the massive 22kg Probat coffee roaster, which dominates the front of the beautiful barn-like building. We shook hands and ventured to the large balcony upstairs from where you get an incredible view of the entire space. Sadly I didn’t get to meet Justin and Jerad Morrison who founded Sightglass back in 2009 on the principles of sourcing, roasting and offering the most amazing coffee San Francisco had ever had. Fast forward a few years and Sightglass is growing strong. After recently opening their new store on 20st Street in The Mission they are currently preparing to open at least one new location in the city.

The roaster

The roaster

The team at Sightglass spend a lot of time traveling to origin countries to develop meaningful and deep relationships with farmers on all continents where they source coffee from. Their mission is clear: Only if you invest time and knowledge you can ensure that you keep getting better and better coffee and that ultimately benefits everyone. Over the many years that Sightglass has been operating, its green buying team has clocked up more miles than I will ever earn in a lifetime.

After going back downstairs, Peter offered me a shot of their signature espresso blend, the Owl’s Howl. This blend of regularly changing coffees promises a “deep honey-like body, with notes of ripe berry, chocolate-covered cherry and sweet candied lemon”, according to their website. As I took my first sip and swiveled the lush dark liquid around in my mouth I definitely tasted an explosion of flavours. I got hints of dark chocolate, the sweetness of the ripe berries but also the tartness of a slice of lemon cake. Just wonderful. There was even a stuffed owl overlooking the scene from a balcony wall above the roastery.

Sightglass labels

Sightglass labels

If you have the time to visit Sightglass at either one of their stores or at their Saturday farmer’s market mobile café, you’ll be in for a treat. These guys have certainly helped put San Francisco on the coffee map and their commitment to quality is truly manifested in their wonderfully tasting coffees. Highly recommended!

Balcony space upstairs

Balcony space upstairs

Flat White at Sightglass on 21st street

Flat White at Sightglass on 21st street

Excellent views of the entire space from upstairs

Excellent views of the entire space from upstairs

Bar by the roastery offering excellent views of the action

Bar by the roastery offering excellent views of the action

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