In Praise of Blue Bottle Coffee

Photo by Heather ChampI’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.

Ahem. Sorry.

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.

3 Comments so far

  1. Viola (unregistered) on April 14th, 2005 @ 12:36 am

    Dear Coff-er,

    the best coffee is in Poland!!!! it COFFEE HEAVEN!!!!! :)

  2. Nicole Lee (unregistered) on April 14th, 2005 @ 10:37 am

    Oh yes, I know all about the Blue Bottle coffee company — It’s usually my first stop at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market when there isn’t a humongous line (see this entry). Try out the New Orleans Iced Coffee when it’s a warm day — it’s probably the best thing to cool your body down and get a caffeine kick at the same time.

  3. Ron (unregistered) on April 24th, 2005 @ 3:14 am

    Wow…i was just thinking about Nicks the other day…that was a great coffee joint..i used to work nearby at Aruffos and spent all my before work time there…Claremont was a great town

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