Following Alex | Rodger’s Coffee & Tea | Mission District

Who doesn’t love Rodger’s Coffee?

As I’m walking closer to the coffee shop, my steps quicken, already I’m tasting the aroma of their one-cup-at-a-time brew, beautifully frothed, with a splash of brown sugar mixed into it. A light bulb thought popped in my mind –  I must take a few pictures.

The name Rodger’s Coffee & Tea might ring a bell or two for people who know great coffee. What makes their coffee so special? This family-run place is a piece of heaven. With over 23 kinds of funky-named beans, all brewed one cup at a time, carefully mixed according to one’s liking; the outcome is outrageously nurturing. And just to throw people off, they sell hot dogs and soft-served ice cream alongside their addictive pastries.

I asked Rodger’s if I could follow a barista through their typical day with my camera; the guy in charge pointed to the tall curly red-headed barista buried in his cap – ah, nice – he has served my coffee many times; he shyly shrugged. As it turned out, they were brothers, sons of the Rodger. Very cool. Would of never guessed, with their quiet manners and super friendly service.

The morning arrived, a few nods and words exchanged as I followed Alex and his brother opening the store: benches taken out, machines turned on, pastries stocked. The morning customers started trickling in, and the pace quickened a bit; scoops after scoops of beans being grounded into coffee, intense aromas filling the air.

Not wanting to miss anything, I propped myself in any (awkward) positions to capture the most out of the coffee-making process – with Alex eventually joining in the fun, delivering exaggerated pours and froth endless times to accomodate me. If only someone was in the background capturing both of us laughing as the coffee spilled over his hand, customers waiting and I’m standing on the stool overlooking the cafe.

As the rush hour subsides, I finished up with the last few shots. Saying an ungoodbye, with Alex’s personal blend of coffee in my hand, I thanked them and walked home, savoring this last cup of Rodger’s – as I know it will be yet another year or so before I’ll see them again.

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