This was a coffee loaded long weekend. I know, what weekend isn’t, but this was especially loaded. I drove to L.A for a tour of the Blue Bottle Roasting plan on Mateo St. Since I made the trip up, I made sure to hit a few other spots along the way( posts to come soon).
I’ve been a big fan of the Blue Bottle Coffee brand for years now. After reading their founder’s book (picture of me with the founders below ♥) , my admiration grew even more not only for the brand, but for their high level of care of the coffee industry from plating to brewing.
Their Los Angeles locations are the closest to me and also happen to hold various coffee events through Eventbrite, which is how I discovered this tour. I am definitely planning on attending more of their events, since this experience was knowledge filled, warm, and fun. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to learn more about coffee in a relaxed environment. The tour was $10 and totally worth the price. At the end, we were gifted a bag of their beans (freshly roasted that morning) and coupons for their online store, which makes this even more worth it.
The main Blue Bottle roasting plant is located in San Francisco, so this was a smaller set up in comparison. The roasting space is attached to one of their store fronts, which is what you walk into as soon as you open the door. Once it was time for the tour, we were guided to the roasting area. In the room you could see their roasting machine ( which takes most of the space), packaging & blending tools, and bins for moving raw and roasted beans.
The tour group was small consisting of four people and the speaker. We were guided through the life cycle of coffee, different process for picking the berries, cleaning of the beans, harvest times, roasting, and the Blue Bottle approach. Since our group was small, we were able to ask a ton of questions which made it more of a conversation than a lesson.
We ended the experience by cupping a couple of their roasts. The guide walked us through the setup process. There are many variables to this, such as water temperature, water to coffee ratio, brewing time, breaking of the crust, and the evaluation process. They were only two roasts, but everyone in the group could agree that they all tested different, which was very interesting given that there were only two roast types in the cups.
Overall, Blue Bottle stores I’ve been to around LA and SF are slightly different from each other. From my perspective, their target audience are people that fall under the purist side of the scale, and know a thing or two about coffee. With that said, I think purists and casual coffee drinkers alike can enjoy their hipster decor and minimalist menu, as most of their locations are conducive for working or studying. If you are still looking for a reason to check them out, be sure to go to a location that offers their heavenly waffles, trust me they are totally worth the trip, especially with a scoop of ice cream.
Purist scale: 5 sips out of 5
Decor: 4.5 sips out of 5
Location: 5 sips out of 5
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., & Japan