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First look at Ritual Coffee’s new Haight café

By Marcia Gagliardi
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Opening this week is Ritual Coffee's fifth location, a bright and airy café at 1300 Haight, just on the corner of Central and kitty corner to Buena Vista Park. The historic space is a pleasing white and full of windows (and mirrors too), with wood tables and a wood bench that flank the wall of windows, a terracotta tile floor, a soft glow from globe lights suspended from the high ceiling and a gold, custom Synesso espresso machine that looks related to a Dodge Dart from the '60s. Architect Lizzie Wallack of Envelope A + D designed the welcoming space.

Pour-over coffee, espresso drinks, batch brew for a quick cup on-the-go and cold brewed coffee will all be on offer. Ritual’s coffees are almost 100 percent direct trade, and they roast everything on their vintage roaster in SoMa. Pastries from Firebrand and Batter Bakery will also be available. Be sure to check out the Haight-centric tees and hoodies, plus brewing tools to have at home, and the Ritual diner mug, proudly made in America.

Photograph: Courtesy Chris Harris/Ritual Coffee.

The timing for Ritual's new space also coincides nicely with the release of Ritual’s new branding, an update from its original look back in 2005 when the company kicked off the coffee revolution in San Francisco. The new look reflects the lighter, brighter, and more sophisticated sensibility of this café, and the Valencia Street flagship which was renovated in 2015. There are new colors and typefaces, but the famous cup and star are still prominent. The 12-ounce coffee bags have some fun features: not only is the new packaging compostable, but these bags also proved to be the best solution to protect the coffee. There’s a wrap-around label that includes the harvest date and the story of the beans—remove the label, and you can keep it to help you remember which beans you really like. Espresso bag labels also have a brew recipe for optimal results. The new look is rolling out in the packaging, signage at each of the five cafés, Ritual's new website and some new merch too.

Photograph: Courtesy Chris Harris/Ritual Coffee.

Ritual's new café can be found at 1300 Haight Street at Central.  Open Monday–Thursday 6am–8pm, Friday 6am–10pm, Saturday 7am–10pm, Sunday 7am–8pm.

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