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Bay Area Photo Journal (+ A Life Update)

Bay Area Photo Journal (+ A Life Update)

A Short Update on Life

Since the beginning of April, life has been steadily becoming busier and busier. A lot has changed since: I left Cartel and assumed a full-time position at Royal & Design, working alongside my good friends, Ryan & Dylan, I've been traveling (with more trips on the horizon), and I'm currently overhauling my personal life with the goal of dedicating more time to doing the things I want and enjoy, like this blog! Coffee is still as important to me as it was when I was a working barista, and that'll probably never change. It's been refreshing to take a step back, but you know I can't stay off the floor for long. You never know where or when I may pop up for some one-off shifts at a local coffee shop near you, so stay on the look out! With all that being said, I have some fun posts and ideas for this blog that I'm really excited about, but more on that stuff when the time comes! On to what you came here for! 

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San Francisco & Sacramento

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As a coffee professional, San Francisco is a place I've always wanted to visit. It's home to some of the biggest and most notable names in specialty coffee, and the level of service I experienced while visiting a few of them lived up to all the hype.

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Blue Bottle at Heath Ceramics in the Mission District (above) and Saint Frank Coffee (below). Photos by @cheyp.

Blue Bottle at Heath Ceramics in the Mission District (above) and Saint Frank Coffee (below). Photos by @cheyp.

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I was thankful to share my first experience in the city with people who knew it well. Ryan, Dylan, Constance, and Cheyanne have all been to SF multiple times, and the cherry-on-top was having our good friend, Andrew Calisterio, as our guide. Between being one of the best mixologists in the area and having been raised in the Bay, Andrew knows the city like the back of his hand. Whenever you're there next, take the time to have him serve you one of the best cocktail experiences I've ever had at Cadence in SOMA. Major ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ freaking ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ key. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

Andrew slaying us all at Cadence. Photos by @cheyp.

Andrew slaying us all at Cadence. Photos by @cheyp.

I have yet to decide which part of the trip was my favorite. Each of the four days we were there was completely different from the last. Touring the beautiful St. George Distillery in Alameda blew my mind. Our guide, Andie, is a very captivating human-being, and I could listen to her tell stories for days. We tasted and learned about St. George's gins, brandys, and liqueurs, but this was where I tried absinthe for the first time, and I've been seeking it out on cocktail menus ever since. 

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St. George Distillery. Photos by @cheyp.ย 

St. George Distillery. Photos by @cheyp.ย 

Most of the trip was meant for pleasure, but a business partnership between Royal & Design and Seasons Coffee Roasters led us up to Sacramento, where we spent a few hours meeting and hanging out with Greg Cotta, their Director of Marketing & First Impressions. Our time in Sacramento was waaayyy too short, but we still managed to accomplish a business meeting over drinks at Bottle & Barlow and a quick cup of coffee at the brand new Temple Coffee Roasters in Midtown. I was so overwhelmed by how beautifully warm the shop was! The 50,000+ pennies that line the bar and floors were trippy as hell. Visiting Temple was definitely a check mark on the coffee shop bucket list. After being snapchat buddies for so long, it was about time I finally got to see it in person!

Earrings and Jar of Buttons enamel pin available at Grow Op Boutique.

Earrings and Jar of Buttons enamel pin available at Grow Op Boutique.

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Bottle & Barlow in Sacramento, California. Photos by @cheyp.

Bottle & Barlow in Sacramento, California. Photos by @cheyp.

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One of the coolest parts of San Francisco was getting to hang out and network with so many friends we all knew from outside the city. I got to explore more of Downtown SF with my good friend, Tara, whom I know from living in Virginia. I hadn't seen her since she stopped throug Arizona in early 2014, so it was such a sweet reunion! That same day, we walked around so much of the cityโ€” Maven for brunch, The Mill for early afternoon coffee, The Painted Ladies because why not, Japantown, and more, all before rooftop hangs at Andrew's apartment in the Tenderloin with a squad of friends we gathered along the way. It almost felt like I was more at home in San Francisco than Arizona with the mini community we all created in our short time being together. 

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The Mill. Photos by @cheyp.

The Mill. Photos by @cheyp.

I could go on and on about every person I met, every place I saw, and how this trip affected my idea of my future. It marked the conclusion of the comfortability of a job I was passionate about and knew well, and the inception of a life jumping into a field I never would've thought was for me. The best part about it is I don't have to neglect one for the other because the lessons I learned in coffee translate into my life at Royal & Design. And if I get to take more trips like this, I can just do both! ๐Ÿ˜œ I'm looking forward to being in the Bay again sooner then later! 

PLACES TO CHECK OUT IN THE BAY

Blue Bottle at Heath Cermaics
2900 18th Street
bluebottlecoffee.com

Cadence
1446 Market Street
cadencesf.com

Saint Frank Coffee
2340 Polk Street
saintfrankcoffee.com

St. George Distillery
2601 Monarch Street, Alameda
stgeorgespirits.com

The Mill
736 Divisadero Street
themillsf.com

Rรฉveille Coffee Company โ€“ Castro
4076 18th Street
reveillecoffee.com

Maven
598 Haight Street
maven-sf.com

Seasons Coffee Roasters
1717 19th Street Suite A, Sacramento
seasonscoffee.us (Keep an eye out for the new website soon! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Bottle & Barlow
1120 R Street, Sacramento
bottleandbarlow.com 

Fish Face Poke Bar
1104 R Street #100, Sacramento
fishfacepokebar.com

Temple Coffee Roasters โ€“ Midtown
2200 K Street, Sacramento
templecoffee.com

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The Black Cup of Excellence: Being Black in Specialty Coffee

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