Blue Bottle Coffee Co.

Overall Rating: 7.500


Address: 1 Ferry Building
Cross Street(s): Embarcadero & Market St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: Embarcadero
Phone: 510.653.3394
Hours: Tu 10am-2pm; Sa 8am-2pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.00
Barista: 8
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 3
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Consistent
Espresso Machine: Astoria
Coffee Rating: 8.00
Aroma: 8
Body: 7
Brightness: 9
Crema: 8
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 06/30/2007
First Reviewed: 04/17/2004
Notes: Kiosk; Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

Review
Outdoor cart/kiosk from this East Bay microroaster wheels up at the outside of the Ferry Building's semi-weekly farmers' market (one electrical on the West side Tue. & Sat., the other propane & marine batteries on the South side). Run by James Freeman, who so accurately recognizes the dire neglect of quality coffee by restaurants and cafés. He's big on freshness (he won't sell beans roasted more than 48 hours ago) and moderate roast profiles. 2004 coffee winner of the SF Bay Guardian's "Best of the Bay," he also provided the original service and training for the once-excellent Frog Hollow Farm indoors (which has since plummeted in quality, after James decided to avoid 'channel conflict' by no longer selling them his beans). They now use two Astoria manual/lever machines: a four-group and a two-group on the South side and a two-group La Marzocco Linea on the West. The lines are so long here that I recommend making up a unique, fictitious name for your order - hearing orders for 'Greg' called up four times within 20 minutes after ordering can become very confusing. This despite the larger pit crew James now fields here (he rarely appears himself now). This location has a couple of benches, but most stand or order 'to go'. They pull shots with a speckled, textured mixture of dark and darker brown crema that is surprisingly thin. Double shot ristretti are the default, and so are the paper cups - so get the traditional brown Nuova Point cups before they run out. But for a ristretto, the body is a bit too thin - at least when the weather is warm (James says their favorite days are socked-in August Saturdays). With a flavor of smoke and smooth tobacco combined with a little honey, nectar-like sweetness. The brightness in the coffee shines through. They also offer custom drip filter coffees.