The Bay Area is considered to be at the epicenter of coffee roasting in the United States, and Sightglass Coffee is the latest microroastery to make the map. The SoMa-based cafe and manufacturing facility holds its own alongside Third Wave Coffee purveyors like Four Barrel Coffee, Ritual Roasters and Blue Bottle. We had a chance to check out Sightglass Coffee's beautiful roastery by Boor Bridges Architecture and beautiful decor like these terrariums by Crooked Nest this past weekend as part of the Architecture and the City festival - read on for a firsthand look!
Jerad and Jason Morrison, the owners of Sightglass Coffee, have transformed a tired old sign manufacturing shop into an airy retail and manufacturing facility. Boor Bridges Architecture, an Inhabitat favorite, played a major role in carrying out the Morrisons’ vision of providing coffee lovers with a totally transparent and accessible cafe experience.
This is, in part, made possible through the practice of Direct Trade. Jerad and Jason buy straight from growers in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and elsewhere. In addition to providing a fair price for small farmers and encouraging them to develop sustainable, ecologically responsible practices, building these close relationships affords greater control over the quality and consistency of the final product. Because in the end, it’s still about the coffee.
Click through the slideshow to see the subtle detailing of the industrial warehouse turned coffee shop and learn more about the cafe and roastery’s many unique elements – including a cast-iron coffee roaster from 1961, a hand-brushed zinc counter built atop a sloping concrete floor, reclaimed steel joists welded into light fixtures, locally sourced wood, and wood paneling fired in the Japanese Shou-sugi-ban style using a Weber grill to prove the concept and a roofing torch to finish up the project.
All photos by Allison Leahy, © Inhabitat