Blue Bottle Coffee Co.

Overall Rating: 8.300

Address: 315 Linden St.
Cross Street(s): Gough St., btwn Fell & Hayes Sts.
City, State ZIP: San Francisco, CA 94102
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley
Phone: 510.653.3394
Hours: M-F 7am-4pm; Sa-Su 8am-4pm
Type of Establishment: Espresso Bar (Chain)
Cafe Rating: 8.20
Barista: 9
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 8
Consistency: Very consistent
Espresso Machine: La Marzocco
Coffee Rating: 8.40
Aroma: 8
Body: 8
Brightness: 8
Crema: 9
Flavor: 9
Taster's Correction: 0.0
Size: M
Primary Taste: Smoky
Coffee Beans: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Cup Manufacturer: Nuova Point
Price: $2.00
Last Update: 04/05/2007
First Reviewed: 04/23/2005
Notes: Kiosk; Coffee Sales; Outdoor Seating

This kiosk - or more like it, a sidewalk storefront in an alleyway with a long workspace in the rear - opened in the Spring of 2005 to many happy, now-loyal local residents. (The Hayes Valley has banned chains like Starbucks, and this alternative proves that they greatly benefitted from that decision.) The location feels like a garage sale, with mismatched mini tables & chairs, a filled dog water bowl, and an ad-hoc stand-up counter to accompany your brief stops for a shot or two. Jamie, the barista, will take care of you here, and he does a fine job with his La Marzocco -- producing a thinner, very dark brown crema. (I've only seen darker at Intelligentsia in Chicago.) This is a true ristretto, with a very small pour with a concentrated flavor of sweet honey and dark roasted tobacco served in a classic brown Nuova Point cup. It's no wonder why so many now come to as for "the usual" here. Also, decent macchiatos, but they somehow don't turn out as richly flavorful and dynamic as the ones I can make at home with their beans (particularly their Temescal Espresso blend). Great milk frothing and latte art. But despite having no seating, they're maddeningly too quick to presume you want it in a paper cup.