Blue Bottle Coffee

I started going to coffee shops with my dad when I was 12 or 13. We’d go before we’d go to the grocery store. Because I was young, at that point, I was drinking sugary drinks that had barely any coffee. After college, I moved to Washington, DC. I tried different coffee roasters and shops. I could start to see that coffee could really be an experience.

On a business trip to San Francisco, I was staying downtown and walking around after a conference. I stumbled upon Blue Bottle Coffee‘s outpost in Mint Plaza.  I instantly fell in love with the brand as it taught me new depths of what coffee could be.

The company was started by James Freeman in Oakland, CA in the 2000s. They’ve become known for sourcing the best beans, quality roasting, incredible freshness, and perfection in brewing technique. For example, they only sell beans that have been recently roasted to maximize flavor.

This morning, I was drinking beans from a farm in Myanmar. It popped with flavor. Drinking the coffee is like going on an epic journey.

I’m sure it all sounds pretty silly. You just have to try the coffee. They have cafes in most of the major coastal cities. If there isn’t one close, you can order their beans online and brew at home.

I’ve become mildly obsessed. We don’t have Blue Bottle in St Louis. So I’ll buy the beans from time to time online. When I do business trips to the coasts, I’ll book my hotels according to where I can drop by one of the Blue Bottle cafes. My teammates make fun of me. 🙂

So, go out there and try Blue Bottle Coffee.

My Favorite Coffee Equipment

When I was younger, I’d go grocery shopping with my dad. Before the store, we’d get a coffee. At that point it was sugary coffee drinks. At some point it morphed into a real love of the art of coffee.

I also noticed that with the right coffee gear you can get better flavor out of even mediocre beans.

Here’s the setup that I’d recommend…

  1. Chemex – I make coffee for my wife and I every morning. The Chemex is perfect for both of us.
  2. Chemex Filters
  3. Aeropress – When I need a quick coffee, like right now, I love my Aeropress. Brew time is under 2 minutes.
  4. Capresso Burr Grinder – The burr grinder is pretty key. It gets a more consistent grind than the blade grinder.
  5. Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle – You don’t want a straight boil. You want about 200 degrees. This gets it there easily. It’s pretty slow to get going but works well.
  6. Kitchen Scale – Gotta get the right amount of beans. I still use a 16:1 water to grinds ratio.

What does your coffee setup look like?