Tuesday, December 22, 2009
bluebottle coffe co.
There is nothing like a bluebottle latte. Erica told me about this place last winter when I was asking her about places I should visit while in San Francisco. How sad is it that I lived in Berkeley for four years and barely discovered San Francisco in that time? The city has so much it is kind of a sensory overload. While I think I did the standard tourist stuff: Full House house, Golden Gate Park, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, Trolley Car etc; I barely glazed the surface when it comes to doing local stuff, like discovering the best hole in the wall restaurants.
Now, bluebottle is no hole in the wall, but I didn't hear about it until I left so it doesn't qualify as a San Francisco main attraction, yet. This place does espresso right. I've only had the latte, having only been twice I haven't yet discovered the other drink options, but both times I have had a latte of superb caliber. The milk steamed just right, not burned and not cold but at a temperature I can actually drink with satisfaction, the foam is just a glaze on the surface, and the espresso ground and pressed when you order it. I truly enjoy appropriate proportions, so when I order a latte and get an inch or more of foam, I am not happy. Likewise, if the espresso is drowned out by milk, I am not happy. There should be just enough milk to help the espresso go down, and at Bluebottle a latte is made to near perfection.
While I confess I am no expert in latte, or coffee, or coffeshops, I have worked in the coffee business before and have visited enough coffee shops to know that few get it right. Usually we settle for mediocrity with caffeinated beverages because we drink them for one of two reasons: 1) we need the caffeine to function properly and so taste is not highly valued, or 2) we drink coffee and espresso drinks because it is cool. Don't pretend like neither of those reasons apply to you now, or applied to you in your early relationship with coffee. We settle for mediocrity, we don't value the true art that is involved in making the perfect drink. That's why we spend so much money at chains like Starbucks and The Coffee Bean, and that's why many people are shocked when they go to a place that makes drinks right because said chains do not make drinks right. People are accustomed to the "Starbucks-way" and are shocked when they order a drink somewhere else and find that it is nothing what they expected.
I digress. I go to Starbucks like the rest of America for it's convenience and because my city lacks any real coffee shops, but the whole time I'm longing for Bluebottle and waiting for the day I can go again.
I also will accept Peet's.
Dear Peet's, please come to Rancho Cucamonga.