SF’s first raw milk coffeeshop opens (raw milk pending)

Pub date May 30, 2013
SectionPixel Vision

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Drip’d Coffee is pouring gibraltars and cappucinos on Ninth Avenue and Irving. But one piece of the puzzle remains. The small shop intends to be San Francisco’s first raw milk coffee bar — but is still pouring pasteurized moo for the moment. “We’re essentially on a waiting list for spots to open up,” co-owner Chris Morell writes in an email to the Bay Guardian.

“I’ve been a drinker of raw milk for years,” Morell continues. “After a while, the merge of my coffee craft and raw milk logically came together.” He and co-owner Tae Kim — the two met years ago in the videogame industry — have set up shop alongside enviro-friendly cleaning supply shop Green11 with their refurbished vintage La Marzocco GS/2 espresso machine, use Sightglass beans, and are now open Friday through Sunday (Fri. and Sat., 8am-2pm; Sun. 9am-3pm).

Drip’d hopes to eventually source its milk from Claravale Farm in Paicines, Calif. Once the raw milk comes through, certain tweaks to the formula will include steaming the dairy at a lower temperature, making for drinks that are smoother than your average cup. 

“We’re lucky that in California, raw milk is allowed for sale at retail,” says Morell. “In other states, it’s impossible. We’ve already had people come in and ask us when we’ll offer raw, so the demand is out there. Rainbow Grocery and other small raw milk retailers consistently sell out, so that’s a great sign.”

Milk matters have recently been drawn into the spotlight by the trial of Vernon Hershberger, an ex-member of Wisconsin’s Amish community who was acquited of most charges he copped for producing raw milk for his 200-person buyer’s club, or cow-share co-op without a license. Raw milk is legal in California as long as it holds to certain standards, like being cooled to 50 degrees Farenheit after being drawn from the goat or cow. 

Proponents of raw milk say pasteurization can decrease Vitamin C, iron, copper, and maganese. One study suggested that people who suffer digestive problems while drinking pasteurized milk felt better after making the switch to raw. Certainly, raw milk has more terroir than our now-standard variety, and can range in color and texture. 

But raw’s not the only reason that Kim and Morell wanted to open up Drip’d. “It’s more about giving people choice,” Morell writes. “We’re not the type to force anything on anyone. But we believe having the choice of various high-quality ingredients can only be a benefit to both coffeephiles and casual drinkers.” Morell and Smith are also using their new storefront to teach espresso 101 classes. They must be popular teachers — the Sat/1 class has already sold out.

Drip’d Coffee 1352A Ninth Ave., SF. www.dripdcoffee.com