Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee

I am a coffee lover who does not drink coffee.

At one point in my life, I drank over six cups of coffee a day (plus espresso!), with a particular penchant for Peet’s Major Dickason’s blend coffee. After Peet’s, I fell in love with Royal Coffee in the Oakland Rockridge neighborhood (it now has the unfortunate name of “Cole Coffee”–say it real fast, sounds like COLD coffee, doesn’t it?).

But after I quit drinking caffeine a few years ago, I couldn’t find a decent decaf coffee ANYWHERE. And I’m stuck with decaf, because caffeinated, regular coffee has the kind of effect on me now that I’ve always envisioned CRACK would have–bouncing off the walls, nonstop talking, speeding thoughts, insomnia.

Every now and then, I indulge in decaf coffee from Cole Coffee, but it’s just not anywhere near the same–the taste is lacking. I miss the coffee ritual, I miss the roasted smoky taste. I miss the hint of the sugar, the cream swirling in the black coffee, turning it into a mocha brown. Mrmmm. I miss coffee.

Last week, however, I visited a friend of mine, who offered me some decaf coffee. I said yes out of courtesy. She poured me a cup. The coffee was secondary, I thought. We started chatting, immersing ourselves in a deep conversation about philosophy, writing, reading, sickness and recovery. I sipped the coffee.

And stopped the conversation. “R–,” I asked, “What is this coffee?” It was the BEST coffee (decaf, or caffeinated) bar none, I had EVER tasted. It was AMAZING.

Blue Bottle!” she answered.

Ah, I replied. The mythical Blue Bottle Coffee. I had heard about it, smelt it in the Ferry Building once. I had no idea they made a decaf coffee so marvelous.

My friend remarked on how wonderful it was–and how, most importantly, she could buy it online. At which point, I hurriedly scribbled that fact into my notebook, went home, and bought some straight away. The day it arrived, on my doorstep, I was greeted with the heady roasted scent of coffee–freshly roasted. I carried the box into the kitchen, trailing a wonderful odor that I felt was so rich and heavy that I believed the molecules were dropping to the floor.

Blue Bottle Coffee ship orders out by the pound, once a week, from Oakland (so if you’re in the Bay Area, you’ll get the coffee the next day)…in whole bean form only (but if you’re a coffee snob, you won’t be surprised by that requirement).

Their other coffees, I can only imagine, must be even more amazing. But I? I’m giddy with my decaf noir from Blue Bottle.

5 responses to “Blue Bottle Coffee

  1. This is the only coffee zack will drink. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but they’re the only beans we use at home. And I don’t drink coffee, but once in a while I’ll have a cup of theirs. Besides the weekend Ferry plaza, you can also find their booths at the Saturday Berkeley and Sunday Temescal farmers’ markets. If you carefully at some local shops (like Bittersweet) sometimes they sell special blends.

  2. Thanks for the review/tip! Not that I’ve searched long and hard for a decent decaf…but I definitely have found myself in loops trying to “shake” fully leaded coffee. My only success was that before getting pregnant, I forced myself off by mixing an okay decaf with my regular coffee and pretty much stopped drinking any during pregnancy. With baby almost here, I can see checking this out…as once I start re-indulging, I too easily become a coffee crack addict!

  3. Matt LOVES the BBC New Orleans style coffee…he will get it whenever he can…lines don’t matter.

    Yum. I love just smelling the stuff…nothing like it.

  4. a couple of friends who were spending time in the bay area bought me a bag of beans and pointed me to the website. while i love the coffee, i’m afraid that the owners of blue bottle will shoot me for not having brewed the coffee within an appropriate window of when the beans were roasted. furthermore, i fear they will come after me for not knowing the difference between santa cruz and carmel beach sand (have you seen their website???). i didn’t know about their decaf and will have to order a bag soon.

  5. Wow, I’m so excited (in a non-caffeinated sort of way) that there is good decaf out there! I pretty much gave coffee up when I started my teaching career and realized that coffee+me+30 children=31 unhappy people. Yes, I feel your CRACKhead pain. I’ll try this one, because I, too, miss the smell, taste, the lingering with friends, and everything else good assocciated with coffee.

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