Blue Bottle Coffee Co.

Overall Rating: 8.100


Address: 1 Ferry Building
Cross Street(s): Embarcadero & Market St.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94111
Neighborhood: Embarcadero
Phone: 510.653.3394
Hours: M-F 10am-6pm; Sa 9am-6pm; Su 11am-5pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 7.80
Barista: 8
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 6
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Very consistent
Espresso Machine: Espressonistic Works B.V.
Coffee Rating: 8.40
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 9
Crema: 9
Flavor: 8
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Heath Ceramics
Price: $2.50
Last Update: 03/22/2014
First Reviewed: 04/04/2009
Notes: Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory Sales

Review
Opening in April 2009 after a long wait for Blue Bottle to expand the production of their roasting operations, this café technically marks the third and fourth Blue Bottle stations in operation at the Ferry Building Marketplace on a busy weekend. But this is the first with more permanent (i.e., no cart) space. They have dedicated a bit of shelf space to a variety of coffee-making accessories, from Mazzer Mini grinders ($700) through tiny French presses - plus a lot of retail roasted coffee. Unlike the two carts outside during farmer's market days, inside here they offer two service stations around the corner from each other. One uses a three-group La Marzocco Linea, the other a fully manual Mirage Triplette three-group lever machine (the latter rated here). Both stations also offer made-to-order filter drip coffee. There is limited stool seating along the Mirage espresso bar in front and a corner counter on wheels nearby: sparse by most standards, but ample for the Ferry Building. And on weekends with all four Blue Bottle stations running full-throttle, service speeds are still glacial - with modest-sized lines still taking an inordinate amount of time to process (waits are typically 15-25 minutes from line-to-serving). On the one hand, we appreciate that you cannot rush good coffee, and having four coffee stations running at once should keep up with demand. But on the other hand, it amazes us what customers put up with. They serve espresso shots with a mottled dark and medium brown crema - it's rich with a just-as-rich aroma. There's a real potency in the cup: a cloves-like edge and a robust sweetness that rounds out the bottom of the smoky cup. Worth the sometimes 30+-minute wait? For many of us, sure. In Dec '12, they made perhaps the best macchiato I've ever had. (Stand by the baked goods if you're just buying roasted coffee.) Served in brown Heath ceramic cups - plus the usual Gibraltar glasses for Americans who are alien to the regulation cappuccino.