Here at Ferrvor we are always on the hunt for a good cup of coffee. When we heard about the buzz at Blue Bottle Coffee, we knew we had to know more. The beginnings of Blue bottle is quite the story rooted in the late 1600s with Turkish and Viennese founding. 319 years later, W. James Freeman and wife, Caitlin Freeman, revived Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, California. Blue Bottle is designed for the coffee enthusiast who appreciates fresh roasted coffee, and not the extra frills of pumpkin-spiced lates and extra whipped caramel macchiatos.
On a sunny Friday morning I visited Blue Bottle’s Venice location on Abbot Kinney. It’s in a trendy area amidst zen wall murals and boho shops. The layout of the shop is a small facility with monochromatic décor. There are stark white walls and stainless steel appliances sitting on light wooden structures. The baristas wear relaxed denim outfits and aprons. Customers strolled in for their morning pick-me-up adorning their work out gear.
The most fascinating part about Blue Bottle to me was the way that it is clearly a modern coffee shop yet even among the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, the baristas knew customers by name and order. It had a very familiar feel.
I met with the LA retail director, Brett Garett. Before our interview he offered me a cup of coffee of my choice and I told him to give me whatever he would recommend. I enjoyed a cup of their Three Africans roast. It was brewed to just the right temperature and was very smooth and flavorful. Just a little bit of cream and sugar gave it the perfect taste. Brett had a Gibraltar: 40z shot of espresso with steamed milk. He said it was the perfect after lunch pick me up.
What does it take to be a Coffee connoisseur?
I think its pretty simple. All it really takes is approaching every coffee with a critical palate. Every sip – what did you like, what did you not like? Being a connoisseur means more than anything that you have an appreciation for what you like and don’t like and the first step to that is thinking about what you are tasting and determining what you like and don’t like.
A Ferrvor Man exudes class, edge and sophistication. That said, what kind of coffee would you recommend a Ferrvor Man to try?
The Gibraltar comes to mind. It’s a small milk and espresso drink that still allows the espresso to shine. The real pro move is to order a single origin espresso with your gibraltar. A shot of Ethiopian coffee in a gibraltar sings like milk and strawberries.
What do you consider as a perfect coffee blend?
My personal favorite is the Three Africans blend. The name says it all, a blend of three African coffees, generally two from Ethiopia and one from Uganda. The component coffees complement each other wonderfully – the Ugandan beans provide a nice base and the two Ethiopians give it some vibrancy and brightness. It’s everything you want in a blend.
What makes Blue Bottle Coffee different from other coffee?
There are a lot of wonderful coffee companies that source, roast and produce exceptional coffee. What I think we excel at is making exceptional coffee in wonderful spaces with baristas who genuinely care about hospitality. Blue Bottle exists in the café – we are a retail coffee company – and the experience our guests have in our cafés is what sets us apart.
Selling coffee that has a fast turn around (within 48 hours of roasting), seems like it could pose some challenges. What are they?
It is a challenge, but ultimately well worth it! Mainly, that challenge falls to the cafe managers, who have to keep tight on their ordering while making sure we don’t run out. It’s a constant issue and requires persistent tinkering.
Story By: Briana Dorton
Images By: Briana Dorton & Blue Bottle Coffee