Lining Up for Blue Bottle
Photos by Frankie Frankeny.
Two weeks ago, I queued up with every other foodie in town to experience Blue Bottle Coffee’s new café in Mint Plaza. The prospect of getting the famed elixir—which has achieved mythic status in coffee-loving SF—in the heart of downtown, plus breakfast and dinner (though no lunch yet), had droves of fans snaking out the door into Jessie Street. We stood in line a good half hour, then ordered sustenance such as a croque madame and poached eggs on toast along with, of course, coffee: You can get espresso, French press, or the esoteric drippings of the imported Japanese siphon bar (detailed in this New York Times article). We ordered one of each. Because of the crowd, we had to wait 40 minutes for the siphoned coffee. Yes, you heard correctly—40 minutes for a cup of coffee. That’s longer than risotto or a soufflé takes from scratch. When you add up the time in line, the time spent trying to find a place to stand among the very friendly and eager crowd at the communal table, and the time spent waiting for that cup of water that had been siphoned through ground-up, certified-organic, artisanally microroasted coffee beans bagged within four hours of roasting—it was the most anticipated cup o’ Joe you can imagine.
And, not surprisingly, the most delicious: a complex layering of rich bitterness and subtle sweetness that was almost inky in its depth. Good things come to those who wait.