The weekday hours may prohibit those with day jobs, but the new Ritual Coffee Roasters in Bayview is a far cry from the manic Valencia St. mothership. Ritual barista Pele Aveau was on shift today, and he was appreciative of the relaxed atmosphere at the new location. But perhaps not for long — this weekend Ritual is celebrating the grand opening of their Bayview café with three baristas on shift to keep up with the anticipated demand. (Phil Anacker, the green bean buyer and co-owner of the excellent Flying Goat Coffee, also paid a visit while I was here — there were some interesting discussions about The Goat’s plans to open up shop in downtown Napa plus some dirt dishing on last week’s SCAA conference.)
You’ll have to forage your way through the jungles of the new Flora Grubb Gardens to find this outlet. Tucked in the back of a hangar-like structure with a tall ceiling, past the shovels and books on tree care, you’ll find a Ritual flag and an unmistakable cherry red, three-group FB/70 La Marzocco (imported from their Valencia location). There are just three stools to sit on at the edge of the small bar, so seating is tight.
They pull single espresso shots here as well as the usual doubles ($2), and the resulting shot is dense, potent, and comes with a moderate layer of darker brown, textured crema. Served in black Nuova Point cups. Flavorwise, it has a mixture of both a harsher spice edge mixed with a syrupy sweetness — making for a more complex cup.
Ritual also moved one of their two Clover brewer machines here. And given the business volume, they intend to use the Clover over any French press — and it’s definitely worth the price of admission. But we’ll save the long-awaited Clover review for another posting…
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