Blue Bottle is one of the major shrines on the national coffee circuit. The shop at Mint Plaza is small, with big windows. Inside it’s like a mad-scientist’s laboratory whose devices are designed to torture the bean and make it yield its secrets.
Archive for November, 2011
Much as it has helped transform coffee from brown beverage to eroticized fetish object, Blue Bottle has taken the snickerdoodle, one of the most prosaic members of the American cookie canon, and remade it into an obscure object of desire.
Caitlin Williams Freeman is the in-house pastry chef at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s rooftop cafe. The former UC Santa Cruz photography student co-founded Miette. Then in 2001, in what she thought would be a temporary stint, she started making pastries for her husband James Freeman’s Blue Bottle Coffee locations.
There’s nothing subtle about the way James Freeman tastes coffee.
First, he lines up ceramic bowls of coffee on a tall table and thrusts his nose into one to assess the brew’s aroma. Then, he slurps up some of the jet-black liquid and swirls it noisily around his mouth.
Don’t take that as a knock on Manhattan, which is doing just fine. But for the first time since, well, ever, you can spend every New York minute of your trip on the far side of the East River and never feel like you’re missing out.