10 May Crazy About Coffee (Shops): Blue Bottle Coffee Company

This week’s Crazy about Coffee (Shops) feature is brought to you in a little blue bottle! Well sort of…

With locations spanning the country, as well as in Japan, the Blue Bottle Coffee Company has created a network of cafes, an espresso cart, the occasional pop up, and a fleet of Loring roasters. United by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to everyone who asks for it, Blue Bottle’s South Park location is a irresistible collage of past, present, and future. Inside this San Francisco cafe, music plays on vintage speakers as comforting pour-over coffees and unveil coffee innovations are offered.

The Life-Styled by Stacy Garcia team had the opportunity to speak with the Blue Bottle about the company’s newest cafe.

What was the inspiration behind the shop’s overall design?
For the design of this cafe, we worked with the firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) to transform a former ground-floor retail shop (Jeremy’s) into a luminous open space. BCJ’s design reveals the site’s inherent beauty by stripping away the frivolous and unnecessary, and elevating only the most essential attributes of the architecture. Every aspect of the site, from the custom millwork to the lighting fixtures, is designed to inspire lingering coffee breaks and prolonged meals. In the afternoon, the sun comes through the interior wooden lattice that frames the entryway, creating a kaleidoscope of shadows.

There are millions of coffee shops in the United States. How does your shop create a unique experience for your customers?
We have debuted our first-ever bar for mixed coffee drinks, Cold Bar, where single origins, Oji, and cold brew will be alternatingly shaken or stirred in various cocktail-inspired preparations. At another counter, our first MAVAM espresso machine makes only the most necessary and visually appealing machinery visible to the guest. This cafe of many firsts will have plenty of comforting favorites, too, like our pour-over coffee and fruit buckles, along with a menu of delicious food. In the midst of the monumental—the Giant’s stadium, the Bay Bridge, the Bay itself—our South Park cafe offers a gathering place on a human scale.

 What do you want your customers to feel when they visit your shop? What kind of environment are you trying to create?
Our South Park cafe resides in a small slice of San Francisco around the corner from Jack London’s former residence. A place of many coffee marvels, it calls to mind London’s dictum: “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it.”

Most popular drink on the menu?
Oiji Old Fashioned, available through our cold bar. Cold Bar is our first-ever (zero-proof) bar—offers mixed, iced, poured, shaken, or stirred concoctions using our single-origin coffee, Oji, and cold-brewed coffees.


Missed Part 1 of the series? We’ve got you covered! Head over to Life-Styled.net to read all about Three Seats Espresso & Barber.
Stay tuned for Mr. West Cafe Bar in the third Crazy about Coffee (Shops) feature!

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