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BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE: 11 Years of Coffee Success Story by James Freeman

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Locations and Opening Hours: Full List of Stores
#7 1 Ferry Building Embarcadero (Monday to Saturday 7:00am – 7:00pm; Sunday 8:00am – 5:00pm)
66 Mint Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Monday to Sunday 7:00am – 7:00pm)
Official Website: www.bluebottlecoffee.com
Facebook: Blue Bottle Coffee
Twitter: @bluebottleroast
Instagram: bluebottlecoffee
Blue Bottle Coffee Mint Plaza menu

BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE: 11 Years of Coffee Success Story by James Freeman

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

It’s no surprise that the land of tech startups had Blue Bottle Coffee to supply them with the best Oakland coffee roasters, and Blue Bottle Coffee is no stranger to being a startup success story of musician CEO James Freeman.

Named after the Turkish coffee beans brought by a Polish emissary into Vienna and Central Europe’s first coffee shop The Blue Bottle, today’s Blue Bottle brand now has stores in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. In Tokyo, Blue Bottle Coffee is a true story of serendipity, a tiny mistake in media story leading to a highly successful store opening where customers lined up for more than 2 hours alone.

I had a different story with Blue Bottle Coffee and a different line to conquer. We were lining up early in the morning for the Google I/O Keynote and this is how long the line was.

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

I didn’t know why there were no Googlers roaming around for protein bars and bananas on the Keynote day, but we were starving and still sleepy. A Starbucks store was situated beside Moscone West and I was pretty sure that most of the Keynote attendees were grabbing breakfast there too. Luckily, I knew a Blue Bottle Coffee store was nearby at Mint Plaza.

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You’ve read that here first on Candid Cuisine! If you’re lining up for Google I/O Keynote and you don’t know where to grab coffee near Moscone West as Starbucks and the diner ain’t going to cut it, just head to Blue Bottle for your coffee fix!

Sure there was another line.

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But I kept myself entertained with their very lively coffee store. And all those fresh coffee beans are making me drool.

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Yes these siphon apparatuses are making me thirsty. They make a mean cold brew and I wished I can down one more cup.

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Like any other store in San Francisco, modes of payment are cashless and iPad’s control their system. I’m honestly convinced that beyond the on demand economy, green MUNI, street cars and cable cars, San Francisco is the city of the future.

Thick Cut Firebrand Toast with Butter with Two Poached Eggs – $4 + $2

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Full lunch and breakfast menu at the Mint Plaza is served from 7am to 2pm.

Of course, Blue Bottle isn’t behind the $4 toast game. (I intend to write a whole article about $4 toasts which I think is going to be TLDR but you’ll enjoy it.) Anything with poached eggs is my kind of food and I loved the way they handled their customers. The staff asked me if I wanted jam and he gave me one, because he said customers complained about the jam being on their toast. But I love Blue Bottle Coffee so I wanted to be nice to them.

Blue Bottle Breakfast Sandwich – $12

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My friend who wouldn’t eat anything besides bacon told me to get the Breakfast Sandwich over their Ham Tartine. Fritata, bacon and arugula in a brioche bun, this was a great breakfast for someone who’s looking for bacon 99% of the time.

Latte – $4

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Finally, I can’t wake up in the mornings without Latte and Blue Bottle Coffee doesn’t disappoint. It isn’t the best latte ever (versus Cafe Corridor in Hong Kong) but this should wake me up for Sundar Pichai’s Keynote. (Sundar Pichai was the VP for Google Products then before he became the Google CEO.)

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

Ferry Building Store

I couldn’t leave San Francisco without trying their famous New Orleans Cold Brew, the iced coffee stored for 12 hours and mixed with your choice of almond milk

New Orleans Cold Brew

As anyone who’s lining up at Ferry Building, the New Orleans Cold Brew is the best iced coffee there is.

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I got myself the Hayes Valley brew so I can make one myself at home.

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco 1

It’s sad to hear that their Farmer’s Market al fresco stand had closed after 11 years of tradition, but as they have collaborated with Mission Street’s famous Tartine Bakery, their business objectives have changed as well. I doubt they’re in drought as Blue Bottle is very well funded by Silicon Valley. And James Freeman said it so well, that I couldn’t afford to rephrase his statement in his blog.

I was shopping at the market with my family several months ago when I realized that Blue Bottle today was neither scrappy nor under-capitalized. It’s a great feeling, actually. To have a plan and be able to execute it with plenty of long range thinking and no compromises feels luxurious. But the incubator nature of the farmers market is not really about the luxury of ever-increasing preparation standards. It’s not about scaling excellence. It’s about taking a chance on an unknown doing great work and giving that person the opportunity to succeed (or fail) in front of some of the most astute and demanding customers in the country. Even though our drinks have never been more carefully prepared, and our coffee has never been more carefully sourced and roasted, we are at the point in our trajectory where our ambitions just don’t fit outside the Ferry Building on Saturdays. I’ve seen some vendors get to this point without realizing it. I’ve seen a few of them them take being told they are at this point with a certain amount of bad grace. Fortunately, that’s not our style.

I think that’s what differentiates him from the others. It’s knowing when its your strength to expand and knowing when it’s the time to capitalize on making quality products. Some would be ambitious, whose metrics for a successful story is to build 50 stores all over a country where there might be demand, but little practice to accommodate en masse. I believe Blue Bottle Coffee’s knowledge of what the consumer wants and their commitment to serve customers with quality coffee is going to take them to further heights.

Blue Bottle Coffee Rating:

Taste and Originality: (3.5 / 5)
Customer Experience: (4.0 / 5)
Value for Money: (3.0 / 5)
Brick and Mortar: (3.0 / 5)
Average: (3.4 / 5)
Vhalerie Lee
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