In Praise of Blue Bottle Coffee
I’ve been drinking coffee longer than I’ve been doing just about anything else, save breathing. I was the kid who ditched high school to get a mocha at Nick’s in downtown Claremont (Shout-out to Nick:You’re a putz!) What I’m trying to say here is that, while there may be people who know more about coffee than I, there are very few who have consumed more of the stuff. So I know a little something about the ol’ cup o’ joe.
Which is why you should listen to me very carefully when I tell you this secret: The best coffee in the entire world is made right here in the Bay Area.
Okay, so I haven’t been to every coffee shop in the entire world (though I have been to some in Amsterdam and the coffee was terrible! I just don’t see why people talk about those places. So smokey, too!), but I can say that the very best latte I’ve ever had in my 31 years was a few weeks ago in Hayes Valley when I decided to duck down a little alley to The Blue Bottle Coffee Company.
The Hayes Valley location is only a few months old, but they’ve been in the East Bay for a while. They call themselves “artisan microroasters of organic coffee” which is a phrase I’d usually make fun of but I can’t because I am SO HIGH ON THEIR COFFEE RIGHT NOW.
I’m not about to move to Hayes Valley (though, believe me, I considered it just so I could be within jittery walking distance), so it’s a good thing they also sell beans. They’re roasted locally and sold within 48 hours of roasting. And like any good drug dealer, they also sell online.
The coffee is smooth, smoky, and complex. It’s subtle and wonderful. It’s like realizing that you’ve been listening to music with the volume turned up too loud all your life, and once you turn it down you think, oh, so THAT’s what music is supposed to sound like.
THIS is what coffee is supposed to taste like. And trust me, I know. I’ve been up for three nights, rocking back and forth, thinking about it.