Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I am a coffee addict. I like espresso shots and plain old drip coffee. No lattes or cappuccinos for me. I became an addict when I started my Cohen diet. Desserts were a no-no so coffee became my dessert.
Before my trip to the United States I did some research on where I should go for coffee in San Francisco, one of the centers for Third Wave Coffee which is a movement that believes in sourcing the best coffee beans from around the world and roasting small batches of coffee to produce the most exquisite artisinal coffees. Armed with my list I vowed to hit as many of these coffee places as I could.
I arrived in San Francisco at 10:00 am and when I arrived at Hotel Nikko my room wasn't ready. I didn't want to eat a full meal since I was eating at Gary Danko that night. It was the perfect time to try the first in my list, Blue Bottle Coffee.
I went to the Mint Plaza branch which was only a few blocks from my hotel. It was a very pleasant walk since the weather was cool. When I got there I was surprised to see a line snaking out the door.
Seating was dominated by a long, communal table.
These were the different blends of coffee they sell. I couldn't decide what to buy so I didn't buy any.
They had a simple lunch menu too.
I ordered a drip coffee also known as a pour over. This method was made popular in Japan and is now widely used in Third Wave coffee places.
I don't know what beans was used for my drip coffee but the flavor was unlike anything I've tasted before. I would have enjoyed my coffee more if it were hot. It was lukewarm at best. The cold milk didn't help at all even though I just put a really small amount. I guess the water they used to make my drip coffee wasn't hot. It was really disappointing.
Drip Coffee $2.75
On the other hand the double chocolate cookie was out of this world fantastic. The cookie was thick but very chewy and the chocolate flavor was deep, dark and intense. There was salty and spicy notes too. It definitely made my list of the best cookies. It's funny but I'm really a cheapo with food like I'll never buy a $3 cupcake or a $2 macaron but for cookies or coffee price doesn't matter. You will definitely see cookies and coffee a lot in my upcoming posts. I wish I bought another cookie to bring back to my hotel room.
Double-Chocolate cookie (Mast Brothers Chocolate) $2
They also had siphon coffee makers for their more expensive single origin beans.
I came to the Mint Plaza branch to see this $20,000 halogen siphon bar from Japan. I read that this is the only one in the United States and that the owners needed to get special training in Japan before they were allowed to buy this machine.
It wasn't the best start for my coffee adventure but I'm not letting that put me off. I was quite full and satisfied until dinner. By the way, the first picture is a coffee concoction called gibraltar. It's not on the menu but you can order it. It's actually a ristretto (super short espresso) with more milk. Thank you to the guy who ordered it and shared the information with me.
Blue Bottle Coffee
66 Mint Street, San Francisco
M-F 7-7, Saturday 8-6, Sunday 8-4