I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with “c”. Yes, you got it in one: coffee. Let’s face it, you can hardly miss the stuff at Sightglass in San Francisco. It’s packed on shelves, percolating in pots, and roasting away in the impressive machine that provides a theatrical element to the front part of the company’s 7th Street headquarters. Sightglass refers to the viewing area where customers can watch the processes which turn the freshly-picked beans into a delicious cup of the brown stuff — although the operation begins way before the roaster cranks up with Jerad and Justin Morrison’s sourcing trips to the coffee fields of the world.
The journey from plant to pot is key to both the philosophy and design of Sightglass, which aims to provide clarity at every stage and knows the complete provenance of every brew. The mezzanine within the double-level store gives a suitably panoramic viewpoint from which to watch proceedings, looking down on the wedge-shaped central service area and the industrial machinery doing its thing. Metal is variously polished and blackened and surrounded by a welcome use of wood. Underpinning the whole thing is the stone floor, whose worn patina suggests durable quality and craftsmanship.