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Jan 22, 2008 09:34 PM

New Blue Bottle Cafe opening 1/23/08 @ 8am

Just a heads up that the Blue Bottle Cafe at 66 Mint St, SF is opening tomorrow, Wed. 1/23/08 @ 8am.

Also, it's National Pie Day 1/23!

Blue Bottle Cafe
66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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  1. Wow!
    I had no idea!
    Thanks for the good news.

    1. Didn't know about National Pie Day. Thanks for the heads up.

      1. The event has garnered at least indirect attention from the New York Times:

        11 Replies
        1. re: jpancake

          It probably takes a $20,000 machine to make a good cup of coffee from BBC's sadly under-roasted beans.

          Actially, I was at the Chelsea Cafe Grumpy last July. I don't know if they were using their $11,000 Clover then, but I don't recall anything remarkable about the coffee other than it was made with a good honest roast (like you get almost anywhere in North Beach).

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            Why not save the potshots for Ritual Roasters, which I think has completely jumped the shark on the minimal roasting trend? Blue Bottle's beans are just right to my taste, where they are roasted enough not to taste raw, but not so roasted that I can't taste the nuance of each individual source or batch. Ritual Roasters, on the other hand, actually produce a cup of coffee that tastes starchy and raw when I make it at home as drip.

            I made the mistake of asking the clerk at Ritual for a medium roast the last time I was in there, and she scolded me, saying they don't make any medium roasts. Instead of replying that they did when the adults from Stumptown were supervising them, I just meekly bought a 1/2 lb of beans and decided to stop giving them my business.

            1. re: SteveG

              I don't have any love for Ritual, except for the fact that their cafe serves the best quality teas (from Red Blossom) of any cafe in town. I long ago learned that looking for a good cup of coffee away from North Beach is a gamble.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

                I agree that Red Blossom is the best tea shop in Chinatown.

                1. re: Paul H

                  This might be off topic, but is Red Blossom still around? I was walking on Grant last weekend and looks like they changed into another tea shop.

                    1. re: singleguychef

                      They're definitely still there. You were probably looking at the Vital Tea (second location) a block to the north.

                2. re: SteveG

                  I agree that Ritual's coffee isn't what it was two years ago, but before you slam them, what kind of beans did you buy?

                  They sell at least 15 varieties of beans, varying widely in flavor and roast. I've had fine luck brewing them at home, but the Ethiopian beans don't taste anything like the ones from Brazil or Honduras. They will sell you as little as 1/4 pound, or get a cup first.

                  1. re: Windy

                    I've tried all the options carried at Rainbow Grocery recently, which seems to be a decent variety of 4 or 5 distinct offerings; none were to my taste. Then I thought I should go to the source to see if they have smaller batches that are roasted differently. I carefully read all the descriptions, and tried to ask questions of the clerk but the coffee I was steered to was just as lightly "toasted." I really want to love Ritual, since I can buy their stuff at Rainbow Grocery while doing normal grocery shopping and they're very good about honoring the roasting dates and strict sell by limits, but it just doesn't taste good to me.

                    1. re: SteveG

                      That's too bad--they have/had a silly brochure at the cafe with tasting notes.
                      The right person should have been able to point you toward a more roasted style.

                      I recently discovered that Whole Foods has self-serve coffee beans and a grinder too, so you can get 1/4 pound of a few varieties and figure out what you like.

                  2. re: SteveG

                    though I still like Ritual, it's become more hit or miss since they stopped using stumptown beans. Stumptown's Hairbender Blend is outstanding stuff.

              2. Tidbit about Blue Bottle Cafe from today's SF Chronicle: the chef was formerly at Medicine. I can only dream that Blue Bottle Cafe will have the shiso-wrapped natto tempura and the miso-eggplant that I loved from Medicine's former menu.

                1. I just came back from Blue Bottle at the new location. I didn't see a food menu but I did see loves of bread...there were several menus on the tables and it included drinks and a dessert menu.

                  We had a capuccino each and was surprised to find that our espresso drinks were this from improper roasting? I've had this issue with their drip coffees previoiusly too. Anyway, they have an interesting syphon coffee drink that serves two and in addition to their New Orleans iced coffee, they now have a Kyoto style iced coffee. Also new to their drinks menu are espresso con panna, lemonade, and some beer/wine. This is all I can remember from the top of my head.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: sylphi

                    What is "Kyoto style iced coffee"?

                    1. re: david kaplan

                      I think it might have something to do with their shiny new $20,000 halogen-heated Japanese siphon bar.

                      I went this afternoon to find quite a crowd. The space is really nice and minimalist, but I am not used to standing in a crowded room waiting for my coffee! I prefer to stand in little fresh-air alleys :)

                      they have a sweets menu which has a chocolate pudding, some kind of miette cake (don't remember what kind), some sort of crumble. sorry i don't recall the details

                      1. re: david kaplan

                        I'm not sure what Kyoto style iced cofee is. I didn't get a chance to ask since it was pretty crowded as mchan02 mentioned but I do remember the Kyoto style iced coffee costing $3.25 while the New Orleans style costs $3.50. However, it's not the siphon bar as the siphon drinks are hot drinks at I think $11 a siphon. It was pretty neat to watch the baristas make the siphon drinks, however.

                        1. re: sylphi

                          An $11 coffee just as Starbucks is going to a $1 coffee? That's what I call "In-your-Face!" To paraphrase Robin Willimas, maybe it's God's way of telling you you are making too much money.

                          1. re: Xiao Yang

                            $11? Do you get unlimited refills ... for life?

                            Actually it is a steal when you realize that Silks is selling a $40 cup of coffee ... that bean that is, uh, produced by civits.

                        2. re: david kaplan

                          I don't know for sure, but the following is a video from the place showing the coffee being made. Near the beginning he shows two large globes of water dripping through grounds. There's a quick caption saying the cold drip process takes 6 hours.


                          1. re: sprsquish

                            That's the "Kyoto" Iced Coffee" machine in that pic. The Japanese Siphon is pretty much a 20K, Jules Verne version of my $40 Yama stovetop vacuum pot (sometimes also called a coffee siphon). It makes a pretty darn good cup - certainly it's my favorite brewing method - but $10 is a lot for 18 oz. of coffee. I tried BBC's $10 cup and it was very good (you get a tiny candy or such with it) but I still consider that a rip-off.

                        3. re: sylphi

                          Sour? Bitter? Grassy taste? It could be that the coffee was too fresh. Roasted beans have to sit for at least twenty four hours so they can degas. It could be other things also . in any event, you should have said something, they would have given you another drink if indeed the espresso was off.

                          As for the previous comment about getting a better cup in No. Beach? Everyone has different tastes. And it seems as though a lot of serious and discriminating coffee drinkers hold Bluebottle in the highest of esteem. I think I will go with their opinion.

                          1. re: chipman

                            I don't love their drip (it's a filter cone), but their espresso-and-milk-foam handling skills can be incredible. Or they can be average; it depends.

                            1. re: chipman

                              I prefer to go by my palate, which maybe has been over-trained by 50 years of drinking Euro-style roasts. Perhaps you just can't teach an old dog new tricks, but New Age coffee roasts like BB's make Starbucks look good.