Blue Bottle’s Kyoto-Style Iced Coffee

I keep breaking my own rules—like drinking only one cup of coffee a day. I’m usually good about limiting myself, but every morning I pass the new Blue Bottle Café and it’s like catnip. Catnip called Kyoto-style iced coffee, to be precise.

I became tempted after seeing two machines along the far wall of Blue Bottle: There’s a shiny, halogen-lit contraption that looks more like an alien spaceship than a coffee pot (it’s the $20K one that the New York Times covered extensively), and the glass machine used to make Kyoto-style coffee that resembles something out of a Jules Verne novel.

To make one pot of Kyoto-style coffee, room-temperature water is dripped over coffee grounds for eight hours. This produces a sort of concentrated coffee that is diluted over ice. (Blue Bottle owner James Freeman gave the coffee its name because this brewing method is prevalent in Kyoto.) I was immediately addicted, as it’s all the things I love in a good coffee: well balanced and flavorful, with notes of tobacco, tea, and wood. Unlike anything else I’ve ever sipped.

Blue Bottle Café
66 Mint Street, San Francisco, California
415-495-3394