Depending on the day and the side of the bed you wake up on, there are a few different roads you can take to get to your caffeine. Whether you find yourself shuffling around San Fran’s Russian Hill or SOMA District, there is a shop wanting more people to see coffee as a special and delicious experience from within the walls of Saint Frank Coffee.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Ben Hitch Contributing writer
Hopefully, it doesn’t need to be spelled out that Saint Frank’s name is a clever alternative to long lettered San Francisco, and it’s so much more than a play on words. The name is intended to represent the pride of the cafe’s city and the community knocking on the door each and every morning.
he clean countertops seem like they are straight out of a static-free Area 51 lab.
From the moment you walk in the doors of either Saint Frank Coffee location, you can feel the dedication to the craft and the focus on the bean’s versatility. At Saint Franks’ true cafe location on Polk St., the walls are white – really, really, really white and only broken by angled blonde wood paneling. The bar is astoundingly clean with a minimal assortment of the barista tools visible to patrons, which begs the question to where are all the espresso machines are hiding? Are they under the counter or maybe the quality Saint Franks’ coffee simply falls from through the skylights and stars above into your mug? The answer is out there somewhere, but the clean countertops seem like they are straight out of a static-free Area 51 lab. And surrounding the beakers, the rest of the space is filled with the token bench running the length of the space, met by small two-top tables and an accompanying chair dedicated to human interaction over the 13” Apple.
At the roastery on Mission St., you are met by baristas, a few tables and floor to ceiling mural of Babettes Gæstebud further highlighting Saint Frank’s dedication to not alter the quality of their small farm sourced beans, but merely adding the finishing touch before it hits your cup. Behind the bar is the roasting operation which seems simply perfected with no more than a few chaperones guiding the beans through the process. It’s a unique perspective to see the beans formulating into the refined product you’ll soon be sipping on, and the aroma is something all on its own, that some would wish to be bottled and kept in their EDK.
Whether you end up at Polk or Mission, there is no doubt you’re going to get one of the best cups of joe in the city. Saint Frank is striving to make each of your visits as unique and compelling as the first. They intend to tell their story of commitment to the little guys (farmers) who put in the real work in and nurture the beans before they make their way to Mission St’s roastery. This is a cup, space, and community effort that you should put on your radar and be spreading the good word of SFC to your crew and anyone you pass on the streets. And as Saint Francis had a passion for connecting the people with the world, it was his humble wide-eyed view of courteous simplicity that drives every falling drip of Saint Frank Coffee.
At the Mission location, ask to use the restroom, allowing you a peek into the roasting operation
Not in the mood for a latte or cortado? Try the single origin flight
Like taking in the sights from far above? Polk St. has a little nook tucked away upstairs for work and observation
If you see John Mason running by, keep an eye out for Stanley Goodspeed