• Top Rated by Food and Wine Magazine
• 2011 Nation's Top 17 Coffee Roasters by CNN & Fortune Online
We think that Ritual is doing a whole lot of things right.
"Coffee is a delicious, sweet, complex fruit. Plucked off its tree, it has a range of flavors that reflect its upbringing--cultivar, soil, pruning, and care. We work with producers who care for their trees as they would their children, giving them both the love and attention that they need to live up to their full potential. We walk with these producers through their small farms. We sleep on the farm, we breathe the farm, trying as hard as we can to understand how our producers make magic happen in our cups."
"Our continual mission is to present these coffees to our customers in the same sublime condition that we tasted them, both by serving them seasonally, to preserve their freshness, and by roasting them with the intention of accentuating the intrinsic qualities within."There is not a day when you can walk into Ritual Coffee Roasters and not find a line of people eagerly waiting for their famed coffee. Turning back the clock to when Eileen first opened Ritual’s doors on Valencia Street across from her hero, writer David Eggers’ Pirate Store, she started with a simple mission of making great coffee for the people of San Francisco and to always remember that no matter how tough things got, to always be nice. This goal of making great coffee set her on a journey that led to origin, to the farms, and to the people and communities where coffee is grown...
It was then that her journey became a personal one. Seeing “The Big Picture” -- that coffee is the number two-traded commodity in the world, Eileen felt she could make a difference. This means that the way we buy coffee has a huge impact on communities all over the world and in countries like Guatemala and Rwanda.
Setting forth to make a positive impact, Eileen spends great efforts in educating and connecting her staff with this ideal and by sending her staff to origin to see what it is to pick coffee. Whether it’s contributing by buying school supplies for the coffee producers’ kids in Honduras, or sponsoring music programs in schools in Brazil, Ritual strives to educate employees that what they are doing is connected to something bigger and that they are the last step in a long chain of people who have worked very hard. These efforts do not go unnoticed…
The bustling café has become iconic in the world of coffee. Ritual is commonly known and credited as being in the forefront of the 3rd wave coffee roasting movement. Ritual has a strong emphasis on Single origin coffees. Great effort is taken to educate customers about the origin of the coffee bean. Café blackboards honor the farmer by listing the coffee estate, type of bean and the country it was grown in. With great focus on seasonality and sustainability, the coffee changes frequently. Ritual favors medium roasts that preserve flavors better than dark roasts do. When asked Eileen will tell you, “Our goal in roasting is to be invisible. If you can taste the roast, we’ve done something wrong.”
If you've ever bitten into a ripe juicy plum bought right from the grower at a farmer's market, you've tasted the difference it makes to get your food directly from the source.
Of the 230,453 pounds of coffee Ritual Coffee roasted last year, over 95% came directly from their Producer Partners.
For Ritual Coffee Roasters, getting the very best coffee goes way beyond traveling the world to purchase directly from growers. "In fact, it's pretty easy to find a really good coffee if you know where to look. The hard part is maintaining that goodness from season to season. That's why we work hard to build true partnerships with our growers, offering them the support they need to continuously improve. We take trips to Central America, South America, and Africa throughout the year--our sourcing team visits each farm at least once a season--sharing the latest knowledge we've gathered about growing and processing (and, of course, always learning from them, too)."
These strong partnerships mean Ritual Coffee Roasters can bring you consistent amazingness that's as close to the source as you can possibly get. "It also means we're all getting to play a part in creating a world where farmers can support their families, take care of their land, and produce coffees that make everyone happy."
"When a humble coffee bean hits our Probat UG-22 roaster and is transformed into something transcendent, some call it alchemy. And maybe there is some element of magic involved. But the real story of how we get our amazing roasts is a combination of an insanely dedicated roasting staff, a finely honed--and even scientific--approach, and a think-outside-the-box mindset about what a coffee really needs to be great. (Our mantra? Don't get in the way of a good coffee)."
A Ritual roast is crafted to play up the qualities that are overlooked or missed by other roasters. Those nuances, that complexity, the subtle flavors, those are the qualities that can cause you to look at coffee in a completely different light.
"There are dozens of variables that we're keeping track of with each coffee. Here are just a few: humidity (during roasting), moisture loss, rise rate (we helped develop this idea), age of roast, density of the green coffee, and roast color (as measured by a photo-spectrometer!)"
Because Ritual Coffee Roasters are fanatical about freshness, "We create a new espresso blend for each season. In addition, we offer a different Sweet Tooth single origin espresso, as well as newly arrived filter coffees monthly. The only thing that stays the same is our commitment to constantly raising the bar."
Roasting Process / Roaster:
Gas - Drum / Probat L12