Cheri was in town and I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with her. We geeked it out on one of the days and went to electronics markets, photo stores, a radio shack, and the Apple Store (I know we just fell right into that stereotype.)
And one of the food related places that we went to was the Blue Bottle Coffee Company, which is considered by many San Franciscans as having the best coffee in the city. They have two locations. One is in the Ferry Market on the pier and the other is on 66 Mint St. (corner of Jessie).
Cheri and I went there and we discovered they had a $30,000 dollar siphon coffee system. We just had to get that. We ordered a pot ($12.00) of their Ethiopian Yiracheffee bean and the barista went to work. You can see the process written next to the pictures above.
So...does this system make a better cup of coffee?
Yes. It makes a very delicate cup of coffee that is... in stasis. It's a coffee that is in limbo. It's the Lucifer Morningstar of coffees. This coffee is in the perfect state of perfection and ordinary and every second's exposure to the air and the elements changes it back into the basic elements of the earth.
At first sip the coffee clearly has notes of blueberry and by blueberry I mean blueberry. It has that slightly tart mangosteen smear with echoing note of sun. Then bitter notes from coffee ring out and then calm into bass notes as you swallow.
The coffee when it is first out of the siphon feels reanimated.
The longer it sits, it gets earthier- this is not bad by any means- but it loses that initial spark.
Also, Cheri called me a coffee snob because she thought that I would judge her for wanting to put cream and sugar into her coffee. I didn't even say anything, but she just assumed that I would. (OK, I would have judged her, but I wouldn't have said anything to her face.) So, she labeled me a "coffee snob" and she wrote a note that said she is a coffee snob "in training."
Blue Bottle Coffee has great coffee and Cheri is a wonderful San Francisco guide.
Cheri, thank you so much.