Monday, March 28, 2011

NY: Blue Bottle Coffee (Brooklyn)

Address: 160 Berry St
Neighbourhood: Williamsburg
Borough: Brooklyn, New York
Tel: (718) 534-5488‎

This West coast transplant found itself a new home in the depths of Williamsburg, nestling into a brick-based factory style loft on a seemingly ordinary residential street.  Blue Bottle has been a staple of the Bay area scene since 2002, taking it's simple desire of providing freshly roasted coffee to their neighbourhoods. Not far off from their quest to bring their knowledge to the East Coast almost a decade later. Can this transplant survive in cutthroat NYC?

Using up the warehouse-like space to push for a on-site roaster, they've created a coffee lab and open concept storage space in 2/3s of the "cafe". More working museum than sit down locale, they seem to have harnessed the imagination of the working professionals, artists and passer-bys. New York's burgeoning coffee scene and continual revival of the micro-niches has made it easier to digest for the renovating area. Blue Bottle might have opened up their shop during the economic "downturn", but it's this fusion of community, quality products and different brewing styles that have made them a staple.

Machines: La Marzocco FB80
Grinders: Anfim
Beans:Uganda, Guatemala, Brazil, Ethopia & Mexico. 
Roasters: Blue Bottle C.C (onsite)
Temp: 203 degrees Fahrenheit
Size: 1.5ish ounces in 30 sec
Turnover: Busy, lots of foot traffic
Popular: Cappuccino
Feature Brewing style: Pour-Over
Slow Cold Drip Coffee - Great to see live.
Verdict: Low Acidic body, syrupy dense texture results in a great chocolate party. Consistency is key, and this tasted exactly the same as the Blue Bottle in the back alley of Linden Street in SF.

Up for permanent display are the 5 imported Japanese Cold Brewing devices. The Kyoto-style brewing method can take up to16 hours to fully run through it's cycle. But it's refreshing (or so I'm told) and what a better way to pay homage to it's former space; glass-blowing artisan studio

Manual brew is definitely one of the focal points of the cafe, with 8 Cilio (with their own branding) devices, the Pour Over Bar was busy during my stay. Having one barista solely focused on the pour over bar, indicates it's popularity. It doesn't hurt that the coffee menu (changed weekly) gives a wide selection for those interested in discovering the wonders....
Pour Over Bar. WOW.
A Second Machine??
Machines: San Marco Leva Manual lever Grinders: Anfim
Beans: S/O Ethopian
Roasters: Blue Bottee  - onsite
Temp: 197 degrees Fahrenheit
Size: 1.5ish ounces in 31 sec
Turnover: Busy, but more people hang-out here

Lushish tones of citrus, berry compote and dark chocolate of the 70% variety. Great Technique from the barista

Hanging out is definitely possible with a garage glass door, large table facing the street and stools for chatter. The L-Shaped bar helps traffic flow, and the condiment stand gives a great view of the roastery in the back. In addition there is a wheeled table in the middle that doubles as a "stand-up" table. 
High ceilings, large windows, bright light just creates that west coast chill. So different from the Ferry location, but James Freeman - owner - has done well to foster a relationship with NY.

Here's to more local roasting!
(New York Photo tease below)


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