Hi! This is our resident coffee nerd among coffee nerds Alex Powar. He teaches our “Brewing Better Coffee at Home” class. The title kind of presupposes that you are already making coffee at home, but it really starts from square one. Honest.

He goes over things like brewing with scales and other tricks. Then he demonstrates these concepts on French Press, Chemex, Clever dripper, Hario V60, and Aeropress—everything but espresso. It’s good nerdy fun. The whole class runs about 90 minutes. At no point will Mr. Powar remove his shirt.

Participants go home with some of the coffee used in the class, and get a discount on brewing equipment. The consensus is that it’s a bargain for $25. Maybe that’s why they’re always sold out. That, and we limit the class to ten folks.

Scheduled classes:

Monday July 14th (full)

Wednesday July 16th (full)

Monday July 28th (full)

Monday August 4th (5 spots)

Wednesday August 13th (7 spots)

Monday August 18th (10 spots)

Monday September 1st (10 spots)

Wednesday September 10th (10 spots)

Monday September 15th (10 spots)

*all classes start at 6pm and take place at our cafe at 375 Valencia St., SF, CA

To reserve a spot in one of the classes please call our landline (415) 252-0800. We require payment when you sign up to hold your spot in the class, and if you need to cancel we require 48 hours notice so we can try and fill your spot.



Hello Beautiful Coffee People,

Like you, we were abruptly interrupted from our morning perusal of the New York Times’ weddings announcements by our personal assistants this weekend. We hate it when they sneak up on us like that–we were just getting to the part where Whitney and Ron bonded over “a mutual appreciation for sneakers, organizing their DVD collections alphabetically, and the latest technology gadgets and devices.” Will these two N.Y.U business school grads find romance? Now we’ll never know!

What important news demanded such a cruel interruption? It was this: Four Barrel just released a couple of new coffees. There, we said it. In fact, here it is in all-caps:

Colombia Cannor
Guatemala Retana
Guatemala Retana SOE 

Oh, wait, there’s also this: Taste the Friendo. It is tasty. Like something that tastes good. Like the canapes that Jennifer and Colin enjoyed at their “rustic chic” wedding reception “glittering with crystal and china, a mix of urban chic and homespun charm” at their “sprawling resort” in Connecticut.

What’s that? Oh yes, speaking of people we thought would never get together, Ms. Tayler Mehit has joined Mr. Hein & Brian Keeffe as Four Barrel wholesale liaisons. “It’s an unconventional marriage, but we’re dedicated to making it work,” she said. Ms. Mehit, 25, will continue to use her surname professionally.

Likewise, Mr. Trevor Hudson has ditched The Mill to join the 4B training & edukation krew. Say hello, Trevor. Good job. Say, could you bring our Sunday Times back over, and refill our bellinis? Bless you, dear.

Kimberly, a producer for Fox News, finally found Marcus, a VP for MasterCard, after dates with so many men who were “too phony, too old, too young or too incompatible.” Sing it, sister! We felt the same way, until we met Jonathan, Chez Panisse’s wine guru. He’s one of the many attractive experts who’ll join us for seminars and events to which you are invited. Yes, you. And a date, if you like. No pressure. Or you could just come cup with us, whenever it works for you. The favor of an RSVP to classes@fourbarrel.com is requested.

Finally, we join Erin and Terence in admitting that “It’s tough trying to be professional” when one is as naturally attractive as we are. Still, we feel duty-bound to alert you to the impending American holiday, Independence Day. We believe it’s falling on July 4th again this year. If you normally order or receive your coffee on Fridays, well… would you please call us to arrange your order & delivery day for July 4th? The Four Barrel office will be closed, along with UPS & USPS… and of course if your place will be closed, we’d love to know.

Early July… that seems like a good time to release the hounds. No, we mean the coffees. Release the coffees. Expect twelve new coffees, including an all-big-bean roster of Smalls. Save the date!


We are offering a whole slew of classes this summer for the public. Everything from lessons in history to brewing at home. Below is an overview, or download the PDF right here. Either way you look at it, pre-register to classes@fourbarrelcoffee.com.

Note: We are now requesting a $15 donation at our Coffee & Conflict, Brewing History, and Sourcing Seminars (previously a $25 Fee). All donations will go towards building a Schoolhouse for the Robot Mata Co-op in Ethiopia. 



new art poster





It’s holiday time and we will be taking a few (well really only one) days off and also having a few shorter days. This is what it means for our cafes:

Four Barrel Coffee Valencia (375 Valencia St.)
Christmas Time
Dec. 24th: 8 am to 3pm
Dec. 25th: closed
Dec. 26th: 8am to 8pm
New Year’s
Dec. 31st: 8am to 5pm
Jan. 1st: 9am to 8pm

Four Barrel Coffee Portola (2 Burrows Ave.)
Christmas Time
Dec. 24th: 8 am to 3pm
Dec. 25th: closed
Dec. 26th: 8am to 7pm
New Year’s
Dec. 31st: 8am to 5pm
Jan. 1st: 9am to 7pm

The Mill (736 Divisadero St.)
Christmas Time
Dec. 24th: 8 am to 1pm
Dec. 25th: closed
Dec. 26th: 8am to 9pm
New Year’s
Dec. 31st: 8am to 5pm
Jan. 1st: 9am to 9pm


We don’t really rest here. It’s not that kind of bed, silly! These are drying beds in Ethiopia, and the only things that rest on them are high-elevation, fully washed, Arabica coffee beans.

Resting isn’t really on our agenda anyway. We have cupping labs throughout East Africa and Latin America to visit. We have meetings with co-op members and independent growers to attend. We have farms and mills to inspect, at the ends of long and bumpy roads through beautiful highlands. And we have to catch our flights home to San Francisco, so we can roast these coffees up, and share them with you.

That’s why we can’t rest. We have to roast the fourteen (!) coffees we’re offering you right now.

Most of them are from folks with whom we (and you) already forged relationships over the last few years. We’re pleased to welcome back some familiar flavors from Kenya, Rwanda, Colombia, and Guatemala. When you’ve finished trying those, spare a minute for the incredible new coffees of Ethiopia’s far west.

Anyway: tool around our Web site, make yourself some coffee, and relax. Check out the photos by Tal, Jodi, and Jeremy. Maybe even read a little if you feel like it. But no matter what, don’t sleep on these coffees. That would be just plain silly.


We are super excited to welcome back Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie this Sunday, Nov. 3rd from 9am-3pm to our Caledonia Alley service. They are super awesome and will be bringing by the following amazing items to Caledonia Alley service for you all to enjoy.


Tarte Chocolate Café – $7
Four Barrel Espresso infused chocolate ganache, espresso gelée
Tarte Basil Citron-Strawberry- $7
Lemon cream tart, hazelnut milk ganache, toasted hazelnuts
Mini Tarte Noisette- $3.5
Mini sized tart, hazelnut milk ganache, toasted hazelnuts
Cannelés- $2.5
Cannelé bordelais with rum
Caramels- $7
Set of individually hand wrapped chocolate caramels
Pumpkin Chocolate Tart- $7
Organic pumpkin and milk chocolate ganache, spiced pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds
Meringues- $4
A package of Four Barrel Espresso and cocoa meringues

Quiche Lorraine- $7
Comte cheese, smoked bacon, parsley
Seasonal Mushroom Tarte (vegetarian)- $7
Mushrooms, onion confit

So come on by and make Grant make you a drink and pick up something delicious to snack on. 
Service from 9am to 3pm as always at the alley. 


We here at Four Barrel Coffee are super excited to be showcasing art from a Four Barrel Coffee family member, Brett Walker. The opening reception for his show Your Oceans Are Not Big Enough For Me will be October 10th from 6-8pm. Come by the cafe at 375 Valencia and check everything out. If you can’t make it, no worries, his show will be up from October 8th to November 13th, so you will have plenty of time.

From the artist:

Made in late 2012, Your Oceans Are Not Big Enough For Me is a body of work that references my general feelings about art making and desire right now, how I want so much more than the world can provide for me, and how I know so much more is out there and available, the potential for life is limitless, and I want it all right now, and no matter how big or crazy or wild it is, I am sort of ready for it. All these images were made around the Great Lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin, and I just felt when I was there that those bodies of water are huge and vast, they felt scary and unknown to me in ways the ocean doesn’t, and I am someone who regularly swims in the bay here in San Francisco, and who also has no problem just jumping in the ocean down at Ocean Beach or when I go bike camping down the coast around Santa Cruz. Those bodies of water, the Great Lakes, became a metaphor in a way for how I was feeling, the water was mysterious, and it was amazing to be in the center of North America, totally landlocked, and find these bodies of water, they were loud, and the waves were rough, the current was intense, hard to swim in, much like the ocean, but different, unknown, places to explore, I was curious, and no matter how big and scary they seemed, I was ready for them. These feelings and experiences with the water all came about while I was on a two week residency/teaching trip with my family, basically all expenses paid, which is the ultimate dream job for me; in a way, I would love nothing more to be able to travel the world and make art, and bring my family along with me, and yet, even while I was getting to do and experience just that, there was and has been for a while this notion that there is so much more out there, that with every subsequent success or whatever in my art practice, there comes more drive and ambition, like, okay, this is what you’ve given me, well, now give me more.