I saw the Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk with its long line of customers while visiting the Farmer’s Market. At their kiosk, they prepare coffee with the beehouse ceramic drippers. You can tell that people love the coffee of this artisan micro-roasting company.
But I resisted the temptations because I wanted to try their famous individually made brewed coffee made with a $20,000 machine. So I went to the Blue Bottle Café located at 66 Mint Street, San Francisco (at Jessie Street).
What is the siphon bar?
Each coffee is brewed using two stacked glass globes resting on top of a heater. The technique involves creating a deep whirlpool with a wooden paddle in no more than four turns without touching the glass.
Basically, vapors and variations in temperatures force the coffee up and down. The principle behind the siphon bar share similarities with the stovetop espresso maker except that the siphon bar requires human assistance several times in the process as you can see by watching my video.
As our coffee maker Vien told us, you can learn the basics on how to operate the siphon bar quickly. But mastering the different settings is a long learning process. Only through the hands of a master that the siphon bar produces the most memorable coffee.
Tasting a siphon coffee
A cup of siphon coffee is very delicate, with no after taste, and you get none of the residues typical of French pot coffee. The taste is much smoother than regular coffee. You can taste the subtlety of the coffee beans.
For that reason, the siphon coffee is never made with blend. You want to be able to taste the specificities of single-origin beans. As I understand, you cannot taste that with an espresso because the espresso is brewed too quickly. To taste the different flavor levels, the coffee needs to be brewed slowly. And slowly it is since making one siphon coffee pot of 2 cups takes 5 minutes.
Blue Bottle Café serves only certified organic coffee beans that they roasted themselves. I tasted the Gololcha, a dry-processed Ethiopian coffee with two distinct flavor layers: fruity on top, with a beautiful thick rustic body. I enjoyed it! I sipped it without and with milk to see if we could still taste the subtlety of the coffee. I did.
I am telling you, I drank the best coffee of my life last Saturday. My husband wanted to go back 2 hours later.
Learn more: Blue Bottle Coffee Co.