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Pinhole's Custom Coffee Goods

Toronto's Monarch Methods outfits the new San Francisco coffee shop with handsome copper brewing equipment

by CH Contributor
on 12 September 2014

by Chérmelle Edwards


For her new independently owned San Francisco outpost Pinhole Coffee, former Blue Bottle barista JoEllen Depakakibo tapped Toronto-based Monarch Methods to create a custom range of goods. The Bernal Heights shop will feature a specially handmade kettle and drip bar inspired by Depakakibo's passion, experience and expertise. Monarch Methods founder Chris Chekan tell CH, “It inspired me to create a piece that is right at home alongside that passion and that embodies those principals in how it was designed and made.”

Depakakibo says, “Although it might seem like Pinhole is based directly on pinhole photography, it's symbolic of taking something physically small and producing something big. In the whole process of manifesting Pinhole, it's been reflected back to me of how particular I am with detail. That's something I felt aligned with Chris.”


Chekan's own experience brewing coffee as Head of Innovation at Toronto's Pilot Coffee Roasters (which was named the 2014 Micro Roaster of the Year) enabled him to design tools that would create an idyllic cup. Approaching the project from the angle of a problem-solver and storyteller, Chekan’s goal was “clean, simple and lasting.” Through the details, materials and fabrication, he and Depakabibo aimed for precision complimented by warmth—tenets of service that she’d carry out daily.


A unique piece of cherry wood with an exaggerated grain and immense depth of color was used for the base of the brew bar. The parameters allow for use with a variety of manual brewers, and its three recessed scales are built into the base, giving way to real-time monitoring of the beverage's weight. “I’ve heard many people say this is a more accurate way of maintaining brewing parameters and is no doubt easier logistically speaking in a cafe environment.”

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The design of the brew bar works well in facilitating Pinhole’s ethos of a hands-on coffee shop, whose interior motif brings classic material and quality goods through collaboration and enduring design. Visitors can expect the design and aesthetics of Pinhole to be indicative of a broader set of guiding principles, as she's “definitely a believer in the sustainable concept of form and function.”

Interior touches, like a colored art wall of acacia wood by Leah Rosenberg, handwoven pillows from textile crafters Petel Design, ceramics from Mitsuko of Tsuchikara Pottery and coffee from Blue Bottle and Verve speak to Depakakibo's highly detailed nature. “I’m a believer in the little things making up the whole."

Pinhole Coffee opens today and can be found at 231 Cortland Avenue in San Francisco.

Images courtesy of Monarch Methods

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