Stanza – Their Mission District location is on 16th between Valencia and Guerrero and is a great coffee bar.
The building that it occupies is rustic and reminds me of an old school jazz club. Except they play good old rock music. It has a distinct Moroccan design motif. It is not a Riad by any measure, but they have some nice lamps and mirrors to bring the decor together.
The 3 group Slayer sits beautifully at the counter. Its wood paddles are darkened by the oils of the baristas hands.
They even have the Slayer wood crate displayed on the wall. There are a handful of places in SF that currently uses a Slayer.
Dustin the barista is a coffee Geek and knows coffee, the beans, the machine, and how to get a great shot out of the machine. He can go into flow meters vs timers and talk to you intelligently about the various aspects of extracting a great shot.
Today they were using Counter Culture Beans for my espresso. It was a blend and had some floral and spicy notes distinctive of Ethiopian beans. My shot was awesome, the coffee tasted great.
If you are in the Mission District with Ritual and Four Barrel around the corner, I would definitely give Stanza a try.
Note: If you want sugar in your coffee, they do not provide brown sugar. They have a flask of liquid sweetener. I drink my espressos straight. So I did not inquire what the sweetener was made of.