The Saturday Morning “Ritual”

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/1.7  1/4000sec  ISO200

Before I get started with today’s entry, I just want to say thank you to everyone that took the time to read my previous blog post and leave a comment. My post entitled Revisiting Film Photography was featured on Freshly Pressed, the front page of I was so excited to see all the comments start pouring in, not simply because I relished the extra attention to my site, but because of the content of the comments themselves. You shared your personal experiences with me, and it’s been fascinating to see the discussion that I started continue to grow through your stories.

Some of you reminisced about the shooting film back in the day, expressing a newfound interest in that dusty old SLR in your basements that you haven’t used in years. Others of you haven’t given film a try yet and expressed curiosity about using the medium. Some of you admitted to knowing little of photography and yet expressed interest and appreciation through your comments, while others you are active film shooters who shared your own great experiences with the format. Thank you all! It has truly been a pleasure reading your personal experiences!

So, Film vs Digital, what’s my final word on the subject? If you look at all my recent work, it’s pretty obvious that I do a lot of work with digital cameras. Is my recent experience with film going to change all that? Probably not. But the truth is, I just love photography. I’ll take pictures with anything that, well, takes pictures. I see the Film and Digital formats simply as two different ways of making art. So, film or digital? Answer: Yes.

Ok, back to this post:

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/1.7  1/1000sec  ISO200

As much of a Philz and Blue Bottle addict that I am, I’ve been trying to visit some different cafes here in San Francisco to see where else I can get a stellar cup of coffee. We started the weekend this morning at Ritual Coffee Roasters on Valencia street.

With large, east-facing windows gracing the storefront, tons of beautiful light flooded the cafe. How could I possibly resist taking my camera out?

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/1.7  1/250sec  ISO200

Here’s where Ritual’s drip coffee is individually brewed to order. Wait a minute now…maybe I should head to the hardware store, pick up some copper pipe and just make my own filter-holding contraption!

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/2  1/800sec  ISO200

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/2  1/500sec  ISO200

If I’m visiting a coffee-house for the very first time, I always try their drip first. If you can make me a killer drip, I’ll keep coming back for sure. The roast I chose was La Esperanza, described as “sweet and creamy, with flavors of butterscotch, Danish pastry, dried stonefruits and a lavender finish.” A one pound bag of whole bean Esperanza will set you back a whopping $22.50.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/2  1/4000sec  ISO200

My friends had lattes, complete with the obligatory frothing art on top =)

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/2  1/4000sec  ISO200

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/2  1/2500sec  ISO200

Verdict? The drip was awesome, among the best I’ve had in fact. But I paid handsomely for it, so regular visits here will not be a wise “Ritual” for my bank account.

Olympus PEN E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 | f/2  1/60sec  ISO200

We didn’t stay long at Ritual, because we needed to get breakfast elsewhere. The coffee perfectly complimented the famous morning buns at Tartine Bakery. Sorry Tartine, but your drip coffee leaves a lot to be desired. Every time we go, we see a bunch of other people in there, standing in line with their cups of coffee from other cafes. Hilarious =)

15 thoughts on “The Saturday Morning “Ritual”

    1. I skipped words; I wanted to say “I have a list of a few good coffee places”, which I found in my favorite magazine. It includes Blue Bottle too!:))

  1. I’ve had Ritual coffee in a restaurant, but have never been to their cafe. Looks like I’ll have to go. You must try Contraband in my ‘hood. Their drip coffees and lattes are amazing!

  2. Congrats on freshly pressed! 🙂

    Dude, these pics are GORGEOUS. Seriously, the close up one of the coffee dripping into the cup?! Seriously? Awesome. And the processing rocks. I’ll have to check this place out. So hard when Philz is nearby.

  3. wow, that’s some serious drip setup… we need a place like this in Beantown! as always, great job on capturing the ambiance and flavor of the place!

  4. Q: Film vs Digital? A: YES. Good answer! If you enjoy photography, you enjoy photography. Sounds and looks like an awesome cup of drip! Will try !

  5. Thanks for the coffee recommendation; will have to try them out soon. And these pics are truly stunning; the lighting and perspectives captured really remind me of early Saturday morning coffee. Congrats on being featured!

  6. i’m so jealous of you SF people! so many cool coffee places to check out! those donuts look amazingly delicious (i never thought donuts would look delicious after working (unwillingly =) at my parents’ donut shop for years in my younger years).

    you’re absolutely right about film vs digital. in my opinion, if iphone is all you got, you do with what you have when you love photography.

  7. Really excited to have found your blog Jonathan. Congrats one being freshly pressed.

    Your photo’s are extraordinary; the lighting was spectacular – awesome that you were at the right place at the right time.

    Been reading your archives and I have quite fallen for the Olympus EPL2. Would suit my needs perfectly and I have been in the market for a while, so thanks for that.

  8. Beautiful photos as always, congrats! I love this blog. i’m trying to find my eye when I walk around with my camera so I love looking here for ideas.

  9. Congrats on front page on WordPress! That’s awesome! 🙂

    I love that you scout out different coffee houses in SF. It’s something I’d probably wouldn’t do since I don’t drink coffee (only on some occasions). Love the series of photos, they make me feel as if I’m really there. Looks tasty for sure! Exceptional details from an amazing camera! 🙂

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