Ritual Coffee Roasters has six cafes in SF and Napa. They are considered a major part of the "third wave of coffee" independent companies which both roast their own beans, wholesale, and operates on a simple goal, craft the very best cup of coffee available anywhere. Period.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Ryan Kirk Contributing writer
Ritual Coffee Roasters is a rock band – and not the new kids on the Bay area block. They’re the band we’ve been listening to for the last 12 years. The one that’s gone through image alterations, sound changes, and an emotional haircut or two. Ritual Coffee Roasters is like LCD Soundsystem: around in 2005, in 2010, and still here now. They gave us a hit, and then we asked for another, but maybe, as James Murphy so eloquently put it, “You wanted a hit, but that’s not what we do.”
Ritual lives in an evolution of change, from identity to aesthetic to the shop’s branding. But, like the artist we’ve been listening to for the last 12 years, one thing remains the same, and that’s the quality of the product that we depend on, the mechanism through which they keep us coming back, the RITUAL that has changed our mornings and deepened our love for such a fine caffeinated substance – coffee.
For most of us, isn’t coffee just that, a ritual? From the process of ordering to the first sip and all the way down to the very last drop. Our mornings thrive in a sequence of activities that lead to the conclusion of euphoria. And, shamelessly, we don’t just want it… we need it. Now, with six locations, this Bay Area favorite has made it that much easier to satisfy customary morning routines.
San Francisco drank it up like it was a liquid crypto currency that was about to take over the internet
When Ritual rolled up on the scene in the early 2000s, they were one of just a handful of third-wave shops trying to tear down the norms of what the coffee scene had become in the U.S. Their goal was to show the people of SF that their morning ritual could come with taste as well as energy. To a high percentage of us, coffee is like medicine, but it’s not Pepto Bismol and shouldn’t have to be tolerated just to help you fly through your day.
In the beginning, they were that edgy band that would play in your parent’s basement for any audience that would listen. They were offering something new and just wanted people to try it. Their product became a hit and San Francisco drank it up like it was a liquid cryptocurrency that was about to take over the internet – they loved it. The original shop was slammed with tech business meetings, coding study groups, and laptop screens that looked like they were trying to break into the Matrix.
Like your favorite stage performer, they’ve evolved with time. Now veterans in a deep coffee lineup that runs Northern California, they have adapted to the game. No more having to convince people that coffee is just as much about the taste, as it is the end result. Referencing another LCD “hit,” maybe they’re losing their edge to the new kids coming up from behind, but believe us, they were there. They were there from the beginning, they were there handing out frequent buyer cards stating, “You’re an asshole without coffee.”
While change is always part of getting older, Ritual now has a solid understanding of their individual coffee shops. They aren’t piecing together a list of what the masses say they should do, they are on a calculated tour, with a well-defined audience and a perfected product. Doors at 7…am. Come thirsty.
If you’re looking for a home coffee roaster, check out Fourth Estate Coffee’s article — it’s a damn fine read that has you covered for the best of the best
Looking to expand on some coffee craft? They’ve got you covered on exclusive brew guides, find them here
Check their website for hours of all the shops