On Monday morning, a slightly flustered cashier at Ritual Roasters on Valencia had to tell customers in line, over and over again, that they could no longer just get a cup of coffee. “We have a new pour-over system called the V-60,” he'd say, nodding at a new station that replaced the old vacuum pots and French presses that morning. Then he'd direct the customer to the new pour-over menu listing single-estate coffees with their single-cup prices.
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.
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