We love coffee. It’s not just for the pick me up that you feel after that first rush, we also love the smell and taste of it – everything from strong black to lattes and Caramel Macchiatos (My favorite drink prior to getting on the Eat To Live diet – a Quad Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel, whip cream and extra caramel on top of that – so good, but so bad!) But I digress.
Up until a few years ago, everywhere we had coffee, from Starbucks to, Peets, to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, to Tullys around here, and even places like Cafe Greco and Cafe Treiste in San Francisco and were still not happy. The coffee always had a bitter undertone to it – it wasn’t smooth.
One day, a colleague of mine brought in a bag of Blue Bottle coffee, which he picked up from a hotel stay in New York. He brewed a pot at the office and it was amazing! Deep, rich flavor, no bitterness at all. This coffee was so good you didn’t need to add anything – you could drink it black and it was satisfying – even the caffeine level was so good that you didn’t have to drink multiple cups a day to stay alert – normally with Starbucks or some other blend, I needed at least 2-4 cups a day – with Blue Bottle, it was 1.
As it turns out, Blue Bottle is based right here in the SF Bay area, with a factory up in Oakland. We first visited a small operation here in San Jose called Broken Door coffee which is sadly now closed, then started making the trek up to Blue Bottle in Oakland, usually once every two weeks in order to stock up.
There, we were introduced to their single cup filter drip method, which in our opinion, produced the best single cup coffee. You may have seen this elsewhere now, but back then a few years ago, it was pretty revolutionary. We were able to reproduce this at home pretty easily – all you need is one of those Japanese hot water pots, a cone filter holder (ceramic is better but plastic is fine), cone filters, a burr grinder and coffee.
My personal favorite is the Three Africans blend from Blue Bottle. In future posts, we’ll go into detail on all of this, but if you’ve motivated to jump in now, there’s some great videos of how to do it here…