Blue Bottle Coffee Co.

Overall Rating: 8.200

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: 8.00
Barista: 9
Savvy: 9
Ambiance: 6
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: $2.50
Last Update: 05/16/2014
First Reviewed: 04/23/2005
Notes: Kiosk; Coffee Sales; Coffee Accessory 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, since-loyal local residents. (The Hayes Valley has long since banned chains like Starbucks, and this alternative proves that they greatly benefitted from that decision.) This was the first permanent SF location of Blue Bottle. The location feels like a garage sale, with mismatched mini tables & chairs, an occasionally filled dog water bowl, and an ad-hoc stand-up counter to accompany your brief stops for a shot or two. For several years the baristi here have done a fine job with their two-group La Marzocco Linea -- even going back to 2006-2007 with Jamie McCormick, who since left for New York City to start Abra´┐Żo and started redeeming that city's then-horrible coffee scene. Today they continue to pull shots with 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. Solid macchiato shots as well with a correctly restrained bit of quality milk-frothing and latte art: this is no milk bomb. Despite having no seating, they were once maddeningly too quick to presume you want it in a paper cup. But that has since changed here over the years. Still a solid classic in SF, even as the neighborhood has recently overgrown with more quality coffee offerings over the years.