Saturday, March 24, 2007

When a garage becomes the hole in a wall

They appear suddenly, emerging from a side-street that had been concealing them from view; customers of a wonderful hole in the wall that sports nothing outside to identify itself, like a garish hog on a motorcycle (see below). They hold cups similarly inconspicuous, which are completely plain white bearing neither logo nor name of the place from which they came.

On the side street are a throng of people waiting in line to make their purchase. Inside a make-shift space exposed by a raised garage door is Blue Bottle, what can only be described as a craft brewing coffee shop. The aroma alone is enough to draw even the vaguely curious towards the shop front.

The usual range of espresso drinks are available, but all this OFD staffer tried was the drip coffee, made in small-batches, about 2 cups at a time. It was heavenly. Robust and well balanced in flavor yet incredibly smooth. It is not cheap and entirely worth it. This coffee is among the best of its kind ever tasted by this coffee nut, which is some accolade, but entirely earned.

No tables or chairs to sit at, consumers are standing around and across the street, taking time and enjoying their drinks. This is definitely a gem of a place known to only a relatively few. No advertising or branding helps to raise the visibility of Blue Bottle. Word is passed on by those with an appreciation for what's in the cup not on it, and who don't need plush couches cds and coffee pots to buy.

A delight to be let into the secret. One of those places you feel you only find if you're supposed to. Here's to their success. 315 Linden between Gough and Octavia in Hayes Valley, SF

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