San Francisco: Four Barrel Coffee Drops Soy Milk

In a landmark decision made earlier this month, Four Barrel Coffee has officially gone soy free. Citing environmental, health, and taste reasons, Four Barrel Coffee joins a likeminded cadre of soy-free fine cafes worldwide, including Oslo’s Tim Wendelboe, who dropped soy from their menus in May of 2011. Four Barrel will instead offer almond milk, which is a delicious dairy alternative (homemade almond milk from Manhattan mainstay Abraço remain our favorite milk substitute and espresso experience).

Do you think it’s high time soy gets the boot from your cafe? Do you have differing views that need to be expressed? How do you really feel? Sound off in the comments below!

(Top photo via Flickr user Malloreigh, Four Barrel photo via 4B all-star Alex Powar)

Comments

  1. says

    In a landmark effort to troll dairy farmers (won’t someone please think of the dairy farmers [http://www.moviequotedb.com/movies/american-gangster/quote_1335.html]?), Four Barrel Coffee has officially gone milk free. Citing environmental, health, and consistency reasons, Four Barrel owner Jeremey Tooker joins a like-minded cadre of myopic coffee snobs, who despite their arrogance took Sean Bonner’s challenge [http://timwendelboe.no/2011/05/soy-milk/#comment-4524] to heart. Four Barrel will instead offer soy juice, which is a superior milk alternative.

    After 200+ years of offering “cow secretion” as a coffee additive for all you hedonistic, weak-stomached Westerners, we here at Four Barrel have recently decided that we know better than you. So then, in our blind pursuit to force your coffee experience be more conforming to our norms and less… bastardized, we now offer PACIFIC SOY BLENDER [http://www.pacificfoods.com/foodservice/foods/barista-series-soy-blenders] as your obligatory milk replacement. It’s smooth, creamy, and consistent. Plus it’s not as bad for you as cow milk, which, let’s be honest, nobody has any clue why they ought to be drinking anyway.

    “Honestly, I never really understood the milk phenomenon. It’s not that good for you, unless it’s skimmed, and you’ve got this whole rBGH problem behind it,” said Tooker.

    Milk used to be considered a drink that “does the body good”, despite its saturated fat and lactose content. Moreover studies have failed to identify any essential nutrients peculiar to milk. Attacks on milk have highlighted suspect agricultural practices, such as slash-and-burn farming, the clearing of rainforests, and genetic manipulation of the seeds, used to produce the extensive quantities of feed required to sustain dairy cows that in turn generate more waste. Milk is a problem even closer to home, too — anyone with a cursory understanding of dairy production can tell you why milk properties are subject to vary from batch to batch. Happily for folks behind the machine, soy juice is engineered from more basic components, which enables better quality of the ultimate product.

    After 200+ years of offering “cow secretion” as a coffee additive for all you hedonistic, weak-stomached Westerners, we here at Four Barrel have recently decided that we know better than you. So then, in our blind pursuit to force your coffee experience be more conforming to our norms and less… bastardized, we now offer PACIFIC SOY BLENDER [http://www.pacificfoods.com/foodservice/foods/barista-series-soy-blenders] as your obligatory milk replacement. It’s smooth, creamy, and consistent. Plus it’s not as bad for you as cow milk, which, let’s be honest, nobody has any clue why they ought to be drinking anyway.

    “Honestly, I never really understood the milk phenomenon. It’s not that good for you, unless it’s skimmed, and you’ve got this whole rBGH problem behind it,” said Tooker.

    Milk used to be considered a drink that “does the body good”, despite its saturated fat and lactose content. Moreover studies have failed to identify any essential nutrients peculiar to milk. Attacks on milk have highlighted suspect agricultural practices, such as slash-and-burn farming, the clearing of rainforests, and genetic manipulation of the seeds, used to produce the extensive quantities of feed required to sustain dairy cows that in turn generate more waste. Milk is a problem even closer to home, too — anyone with a cursory understanding of dairy production can tell you why milk properties are subject to vary from batch to batch. Happily for folks behind the machine, soy juice is engineered from more basic components, which enables better quality of the ultimate product.

  2. says

    I think it’s great to make a statement based on quality and what that means to you. There will always be a strong argument against whatever position you take on any issue regarding quality and health. In a specialty coffee shop setting, why make that statement about alternative milks when you have something on your menu already that (hopefully, unfortunately not usually) tastes great without any milk at all?

    For me, the best alternative would be to suggest black coffee to customers who have a milk allergy. Sure, maybe that’s not what most of those customers came for, but they probably also haven’t tried black coffee that tastes exceptional on its own before.

    I would bet that they put soy milk in their coffee because most coffee tastes really unpleasant black. They probably get espresso based milk drinks because it is a more interesting choice in most places where coffee is served. Probably tastes better than “regular” coffee in these places as well. Maybe because those places are spending all their time and focus on espresso and milk.

    Is the real issue whether to offer a nut or a bean based milk to put in coffee? Or is the issue that almost no one seems to be able to give customers a new experience with black coffee? Either because they can’t source/roast/brew coffee that actually tastes good on its own. Or because they can’t set up their shops/menus/offerings or train their baristas in a way that encourages customers to try something new in an accessible friendly way?

    Maybe it’s rude to tell customers what to do. However one can certainly suggest and ask them to try something new I think. If they don’t like it, than maybe there is another issue to look at.

  3. says

    As an epipen carrier, I am annoyed by others who think the world should cater to their immune problems.

    I have no doubt that a person can be both allergic to nuts and drupes. But is a person with an allergy to nuts, automatically allergic to almonds?

    A person’s allergies are their own, and it is okay for an establishment to not cater to every sensitivity. Kudos 4B.

    If it does not taste superb, then do not serve it!

  4. says

    Soy is healthful, environmentally friendly, and delicious. All of the anti-soy propaganda is funded by the dairy industrial-complex, Halliburton, and Tea Party extremists.

  5. says

    SOY IS BAD.

    What all this scientific information boils down to is that soy can really mess up your body and your health. To understand this in human terms, all you have to do is read some of the stories of people whose health has been damaged by soy. You can find these stories in the book The Whole Soy Story as well as the letters to the editor in nearly every edition of Wise Traditions, the quarterly journal published by the Weston Price Foundation. The Weston Price Foundation is actually considering filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of the many people that have been harmed physically and medically by soy.

  6. says

    I, for one, am sickened by this total disrespect for those with NUT ALLERGIES. I CAN’T DRINK ALMOND MILK. I CAN DRINK SOY MILK. I went to a socalled “espresso bar” with my own milk from home and the barista just scoffed at me and said “WE DON’T DO THAT HERE.”

    Guess I’ll take my business and money elsewhere.

    Flex

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