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 August 4th (1 spot)

Wednesday August 13th (2 spots)

Monday August 18th (8 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,

Can you believe it’s really summer? For sure. Totally. Time to celebrate, right? But what kind of summer celebrant are you? Take this simple quiz to find out!

1) To me, summer means…

a) drunkenly displaying my bikini body and new sunglasses;
b) dropping acid on a trip to Disneyland with my super-cute younger cousins;
c) getting wasted on whiskey at my high school reunion;
d) chain-smoking in my apartment basement laundry room.

We’re celebrating too, by releasing, like, thirteen new coffees, including three big bean Smalls. Can you believe it? I know, right?


Bolivia Inquisivi
Bolivia Buena Vista
Ethiopia Robot Mata
Ethiopia Hunda Oli
Colombia Andino
Colombia Cannor
Colombia Andino Especial
Colombia San Agustin


El Salvador la Montañita
El Salvador Santa Rosa
Ethiopia Bulga
Ethiopia Qorema
Guatemala las Palomas
Guatemala los Yuc
Guatemala Retana
Honduras San Marcos
Nicaragua Lovo
Nicaragua Linda Vista
Decaf Hunda Oli
Nicaragua Lovo SOE


*Guatemala Retana Maracaturra  (lot size 500 lbs)
*El Salvador Pacamara PB (lot size 300 lbs
*El Salvador La Montañita Pacamara lot size (lot size 2,000 lbs)

Of course, we’ve attached a our August-September events calendar. Which summer event is right for you?

2) My idea of a great summer jam is…

a) Madonna
b) Missy Elliot
c) Elliot Smith
d) The Smiths
Whoa, girl! What-ever! But hey, before you head back to the pool, would you promise to share that calendar and coffee info with your crew? We’d post it on Facebook, but then a bunch of losers, haters, and lame-stains would come. Don’t be a lame-stain; email classes@fourbarrelcoffee.com or call the 4B landline to save a seat for yourself and a date… because summer’s here, right? Totes. Who should you bring to this summer’s coffee events? Take this radical summer quiz!

3) A perfect summer romance is…

a) syrupy and intense, like Ethiopia Bulga
b) sweet as honey, like Nicaragua Lovo
c) crisp and well-structured, like Nicaragua Linda Vista
d) creamy, like Guatemala Retana

How did you score? Ew, we didn’t mean SCORE like that! TMI!  But if you can get your brother to loan you the car, would you come pick us up? TTYL.

Yours in coffee,

4B Babes & Dudes


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.