Cold-steeped for hours on end, the majority of San Francisco's iced coffee drinks are acidic puddles of thick, heavily caffeinated, brownish-black liquid with the ice (and the sugar and cream) serving not just to chill but to dilute what would otherwise be unpalatable. If you're expecting something similar when you saunter through the heavy wooden door of Sightglass, you may want to search elsewhere.
You'll see no pitchers of prepared iced coffee lingering on the industrial metal counters of Sightglass, and no murky containers of cold-steeped liquid lurking in the stainless steel fridges.
Instead when you ask for an iced Rwandan, they'll slowly pour whole beans into those futuristic weapon-looking grinders and then transfer the ground coffee to a soaked filter already nestled inside the upside down cone of a v60 dripper. Sit and watch as they slowly pour the temperature-controlled water over the grinds, the thin, coffee-laced liquid slowly dripping in to your cup.
Steer away from the cream and sugar containers. The freshness of the beans and the precision of preparation leads Sightglass' iced coffee to be a cool, refreshing counterpart to common pour-over drips. The flavors of the Rwandan, light and soothing, tinged with an afterthought of melon or honeydew, linger on the tongue just long enough for the cold coffee to cool your sweating taste buds. And then poof, they're gone, and your palette is left refreshed, awaiting another sip of this gelid treat.
Other favorites in this series: