Need a cafe study space with some serious caffeine specialties? Well, you’re welcome because I found it for you! The Mill is a cafe on Divisadero with a light, open, industrial atmosphere. In short, it is the quintessential college hipster quorum. The space is airy with a white and light grey marble scheme and long pine tables. And hanging from the beautifully charismatic exposed beam ceiling is a modernist rope chandelier. The Mill pretty much screams idealism, all it needs is an overpriced abstract expressionism art gallery attached—but in a good way. I spent most of one afternoon here recently, working on college apps and basically “coffee bonging” myself into academic submission!
I started with lattes, which I heard are their specialty. Now, I am not a latte person (too much milk, not enough coffee), but I figured I should undertake a variety of coffee reviews and not just focus on cappuccinos. And to be extra thorough, I double dosed: hot and iced. By far the superior of the two was the iced latte (although my friend Sammie makes an iced latte so transcendental it makes grown baristas cry). The creamy and earthy notes came together in a subversive wave of intoxication. Unlike a cappuccino, no bitter kick was inflicted, but instead a gentle prodding; sweet with a shove. Cue Four Barrel.
Four Barrel is a local coffee roastery based in San Francisco, much like Ritual or Blue Bottle. And can you guess why? Four Barrel Coffee was started by one of the founders of Ritual (so glad they improved– Ritual Coffee is notorious for over roasting its beans). Four Barrel has a much subtler flavor, but still rich. Especially in the latte, the beans have an almost honeyed element and yet are versatile enough to taste entirely different in a cappuccino—as all coffee beans should be able to do.
And Four Barrel gets that. They get it, and they hold on to it and they deliver it to you in an elaborate yet subtle fashion.
Despite my usual aversion to regular lattes, The Mill’s hot latte was really good—but the cappuccino was fantastic. I basically surrendered myself to it and whatever nefarious actions I would need to perform to have it again. It was just dry enough to be to my liking while still going down like water. And while it could have been a little more bitter, I am just amazed at how clean it felt, that’s the only way I can explain it; it had that fresh laundry feel.
The Mill also hand makes all its artisan toasts and bagels! I had the pistachio bagel… YUM! The Mill just feels creative and inspiring. Its possibilities are endless and with a coffee in your hand you feel content.
Rating: 5/5 Beans
Feeling Invoked: Studious
Coffee Tasted: Cappuccino, Regular & Iced Latte
Beans Used: Four Barrel
Water vs. Whiskey: Water