Jason Benford's De La Paz has existed only in bagged-bean form since 2006. Now the scrappy coffee roaster is making its way into the chaos of the San Francisco roaster-retailer scene with a new cafe set to open sometime in February on 7th and Mission. To test out each week's beans as well as some of the quirkier concepts De La Paz has in mind, they'll be open each week on Fridays between 8 and 1.
Don't come in expecting your typical coffee experience though. The menu at De La Paz, in its current form, eschews many of the milk-based espresso drinks the coffee drinking community has grown used to. The limited menu will only feature four items: two single origin drips, a shot of seasonal espresso, and a cappuccino.
Sharky Senesac, head roaster and go-to guy for all things De La Paz explained the decision to have such scant offerings. "We want to serve the things we enjoy the most: brewed coffee, espresso, and cappuccino. We're not saying we won't offer lattes or americanos, it's just not going to be something that's on the menu or something that we're actively trying to sell. The idea is to always serve the best coffee we can. However, we want to do it the way we want."
Senesac won't stop there either in terms of rearranging the classic ideals of the coffee
shop. Instead of a typical cafe layout with customers receiving their drinks and then sitting at a smattering of tables, the new De La Paz will feature a lengthy bar with traditional bar stools. Senesac and company hope that the bar, set in amongst the actual roasting equipment and wholesale beans, will evoke a traditional cocktail bar and inspire the caffeine hungry to sit, converse, and actual taste the coffee they're drinking.
The concept speaks to the role of the bartender a barista traditionally plays, and Senesac hopes that people will want to more actively engage in conversation about the beverage they're enjoying.
De La Paz, seated quietly in the background since it's creation in 2006, is now steadily rising. With the recent addition of Farley's three stores as a wholesale account and the opening of the cafe in the months to come, it won't be long before this little company is spoken in the same sentences as bigger guns like Sightglass and Ritual.
De La Paz Roaster is located at 1081 Mission Street and is open to customers every Friday between 8 and 1.