Four Barrel exits the terrible twos tomorrow, celebrates with skee ball

Four Barrel is turning 3 tomorrow and just like last year there will be free coffee all day. Unlike previous years, there will be skee ball:

To celebrate three years of being in business, Four Barrel Coffee will be throwing their annual birthday bash on Tuesday, August 23rd, from 7am to 4pm.  As they do every year, they will be giving away free coffee and espresso drinks all day long.  To add to the fun, Glass Coat Photo Booth will be setting up one of their free photo booths from 12pm-4pm, there will be two Skee Ball units in the back for people to square off against one another, and they’ll be serving free slices of Tartine Cake at noon.  Plus the Pizza Hacker and Rosamunde Sausage Grill will be posted up outside if people want to buy a some lunchtime food.  It’s going to be a doozie.

No word on whether the skee ball units will be dispensing tickets for high scores, which can then exchanged for plastic harmonicas, mini squirt guns, and rubber goblin finger puppets. We’ll check with our source.

[thanks Nicky Koch]

Update: No skee ball prizes :(

Thoughts on post-sphincter caffeinated beverages

In case you missed my Vietnam live-blogging last month, I picked up some distinctively shitty coffee during my travels. Literally shitty. This coffee is called Kopi Luwak, and it has the unique production process of being eaten by a weasel, shat out, and roasted. It is the most expensive coffee in the world, which obviously means it’s the best. Funny, because you’d think it would be number 2.

After my post, several junkies predictably came forward and took my open invitation to try it out. In fact, most “coffee people” who hear about this crap don’t think twice about giving it a sip. What is it about coffee? I mean, I also love pizza, but if you told me the best pizza was the kind regurgitated by bears I would probably pass.

Anyway, I invited a crack-team over to sample this stuff with the condition that they write down their thoughts for the rest of you to enjoy. Read on, if you want to get the poop, err scoop:

Continue reading “Thoughts on post-sphincter caffeinated beverages”

The best coffee is the kind that has been shat out of a weasel

As Allan mentioned, I’m in Vietnam this week.

You would love it. It’s 90 degrees now. There are more $2 multi-colored fake Ray Bans than you can handle. Dudes just walk up to you on the street with them. Seriously, I buy two more pairs every time I leave the hotel. The pho costs about $2.50 and is as ubiquitous as McDonald’s. Banh Mi sandwiches? Like 50 cents. And then there’s the coffee…

Did you know the most expensive coffee in the world comes from Vietnam? This particular coffee goes for hundreds of dollars per pound in the US, but it’s about 10-15 bucks here. But that cute weasel on the package is not a mascot, it’s part of the manufacturing process.

You see, these are beans that have been eaten by a weasel (technically a civet), passed through its digestive system, and roasted. It’s called Kopi Luwak. Wikipedia says:

Coffee cherries are eaten by a civet for their fruit pulp. After spending about a day and a half in the civet’s digestive tract the beans are then defecated in clumps, having kept their shape and still covered with some of the fleshy berry’s inner layers.

And what exactly does that accomplish?

Research by food scientist Massimo Marcone at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada showed that the civet’s endogenous digestive secretions seep into the beans. These secretions carry proteolytic enzymes which break down the beans’ proteins, yielding shorter peptides and more free amino acids.

Whatever you say, science dude. I can attest that the beans are the strongest, richest, most chocolatey coffee I’ve ever smelled. I have not tasted it yet, but I will be bringing some back. Is anyone curious?

Now that you mention it, I can think only of one other type of person that consumes substances that have been passed through anal cavities: a junkie.

To: Philz; From: Everyone

Merry Christmas to Philz!

The priciest cup in the Mission just got pricier. Starting January 1st, a cup will set you back 25 more cents, while a pound will cost an extra buck. Hey, they’ve got to offset the cost of the cocaine they sprinkle into each scoop somehow.

Jacob Jaber invites you to email him directly if you have questions or concerns at jacobjaber at philzcoffee dot com where you will likely get the autoreply of, “It’s the economy, guys.”

Head over to anthonybrown’s Flickr for the scoop.

The Rhiannon Special

Rhiannon brags:

I’ve managed, with my superior skill, to convince Alex at Rodger’s Coffee, which serves delicious coffees AS WELL AS Strauss Organic Ice Cream (none of this yogurt hooha) to make me coffee milkshakes, by pouring the hot espresso into ice cream in a plastic togo cup, then stirring it until perfect, and adding a bit of milk.

It’s called “The Rhiannon Special”.



Your Milkshake Would Bring All the Boys to the Yard

Off-Menu Ordering in the Mission

Pup & Grind

Amber writes in with an update on Four Barrel’s business model and accompanying photo:

Four Barrel has returned to it’s roots and reopened the alley for coffee service!

In addition to the full cafe in the front, you can now get tasty espresso and coffee drinks to enjoy in one of SF’s picturesque alleyways, located around the back of the cafe/roastery on Valencia between 14th and 15th.

Enter off 15th, just east of Valencia, and walk down Caledonia alley.

Glad to hear the shop is keeping it real.  Looking forward to scoping out the new barista (or should I say BARKista, HELLO!) in person.

P.S.  If anyone can think of a pun that incorporates both dogs and coffee, PLEASE, for the love of blog, help a girl out.

Last Chance for Stumptown Coffee at Four Barrel

Reader mcas reports that tonight is our last chance to get Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee at Four Barrel:

Dont know if its worth a post but today is last day of stumptown coffee at 4 barrel. They start serving their own roasts tomo

You can buy the lbs of their roast now.. but they are finishing off their stumptown inventory today… So as of tomo, sf will again be stumptown free.

I’m not really a coffee drinker myself, but I’m told yes it’s worth a post. Thanks, mcas!

Update: Chris K. responds, “not so!  dynamo donuts on 24th and york uses stumptown.”

Secondary update: mcas defends his original statement: “Nope, Chris K. Dynamo has gotten their Stumptown from Four Barrel’s contract… and they will also be receiving 4 Barrel as of now.”

Four Barrel Ethiopian

Who loooves coffee!? Coffee Like Wine does, and they’ve just reviewed some of the best Four Barrel Coffee has to offer:

[T]he Kocherie was a dead ringer for Darjeeling tea, with a lithe mouthfeel and astringent and spicy flavors in the mouth. On the nose I got that black tea scent as well as a candied fruit, something like those chewy, sugar coated orange slices candy that you pick up from a convenience store, two for $1.

Wow! Read a lot more here.

Photo by .chickpea.

Slow Food Nation Coffee Pavilion: Ridiculous and Educational

Paolo over at Eater had this to say in his Slow Food Nation wrap:

The Coffee Pavilion was the most ridiculous area and consequently, the most educational, because you had to learn if you wanted to taste. The best part: when pouring each cup, the (very nice) barista started each time with “This farm you are tasting right now is…” We learned a lot about Ecuadorian shade patterns.

I love learning about shade patterns! Anyone else learn anything else interesting? Note that the coffee pavilion was curated in part by Eileen Hassi of Ritual Roasters. Well done, Eileen!

Previously on Mission Mission:

Barack Obama Drinks Blue Bottle

Mission Mission and Ritual Roasters

Mission Mission and Ritual Roasters

The other day I mentioned how Mission Mission is getting a lot of traffic these days, and someone responded that half of it probably comes from people at Ritual Roasters. I don’t drink coffee, so the fuss surrounding Ritual is kind of lost on me. Consequently, this remark didn’t really register.

Then last night Brittney Gilbert at Eye on Blogs published this photo (credited to hotlead) of the shop’s somewhat funny “Please, No Blogging in line” sign, which got me thinking again. Link.

So, readers, do tell. Are half of you at Ritual?

Previous Mission Mission Ritual mention here.