Sunday was a bright, breezy winter's day in San Francisco. The sidewalks were bustling with shoppers and locals dressed in a wide range of layers, from t-shirts to heavy coats. This was to be my last visit to the city for a while, since I will be heading over to Krakow soon for a longer period of several months.
I was on a mission to savor a delicious espresso at one particular cafe before leaving the Bay Area indefinitely. Despite being tucked away out of sight in a side street, Blue Bottle Coffee had a line out the door. This is not too surprising, considering how generally awesome they are. Perfectly crafted drinks and some good decor decisions are only part of what makes this particular Blue Bottle establishment a thoroughly pleasing Sunday afternoon stop. Luckily, we brought a camera to practice snapping photos.
|Waiting in line, eyeing the goods|
|Latte and cappuccino|
The cafe's layout was efficient and welcoming, with wooden bars lining the large windows on two perpendicular walls as well as along the counter, and one large communal bench in the middle of the room. We also liked the placement of the espresso machine, making it so the baristas never have their backs turned toward the customers. The plain, bare surfaces and limited color palette allowed for open shelves that showed off an array of stacked ceramics, glass wares and paper sacks. The ceramics glazed in rich brown or white, like coffee and milk, looked especially nice against the cooler toned shelves (what color is that - robins egg blue?).
A major highlight of our visit to Blue Bottle was seeing their vintage glass-bulb siphon pots in action. Basically, a halogen lamp heats water in a sealed glass bulb until the vapor pressure forces the water up a tube into the top chamber filled with tea or coffee grinds. The barista stirs the grinds with a small wooden paddle, and when the process is complete the heat is turned down allowing the liquid to filter back into the bottom chamber, ready to be enjoyed.
Don't you wish you had these in high school chemistry class? What an enticing way to learn PV=nRT.
So long for now, Bay Area, and thanks for all the great coffee!
All images taken by me - Copyright 2012 Cozy City. Please cite if borrowed.