Friday, March 03, 2006

Bye-Bye Boyman

With February coming to a close, the Clown College says goodbye to Boyman after almost two years of years of lattes, photos and bad jokes. The last day was a happy one, splitting most of the shift with Boychick, who from now on will be the steward of this infrequent diary of life among the baristi of Blue Bottle Coffee.

So good luck Boyman, and may all your Gibraltars be delicious.

First Cup February 28, 2006

Those wishing to find him under a new name in his trailer park of a blog need click no further than here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Kiosk Birthday and Cleaning Party!

First Cup January 18, 2006

It's been one year now to the day since the opening of the kiosk on Linden Street. To celebrate, the entire Blue Bottle barista staff gathered at the cart to set about those tasks best left for a year in order to become truly challenging.

We rolled the beast to the street, removed all its guts, and set about the deep cleaning measures.

Oldman climbed into the rafters to excavate the lighting from the layers of dust.

Meanwhile Manboy, Boyman and T-bone attacked the cart with tools and rags and foul language and eventually managed to get all the pieces back together.
"When we drop this 450 in there this bitch'll really kick ass!"

Boychick pitched in by walking around and...umm...well she walked around a lot.
"If you tell them where I am, I will kill you."

It took several hours of concentrated barista power, but in the end, only a few things were broken and the gum had been extracted from the sidewalk. Good job team!
tall row (l-r) Boyman, Manboy, T-bone and his mustache, The Botanist
short row (l-r) Boychick, Oldman

Then it was time to drink.

The crew retired to James' apartment for a petit soirée complete with champagne and caviar. And you think we're kidding.

Cabby fixed up the goods on some small buckwheat pancakes with a funny name.

Though tastey, not all were impressed.
Manboy: "Ho-hum, it's not even imported."

Actually, we did quite well with food from our friends at Boulette's Larder, Fatted Calf, and Miette Cakes. We pigged out on pig of various consistencies and enjoyed many sweet and colorful fruit options. We got to see some of our co-workers, that because of the nature of our cross-bay business, we don't normally see. Here are some of the attendees.
T-bone, Romeo Nocturne, The Hug

(l-r) David Kastle (Royal Coffee), Caitlin (Miette), Margherita and Loring Sagan (Sagan-Piechota Architecture) and James Freeman (Blue Bottle Coffee).

...and Ivy. "Where am I and how did I get this dog between my legs?!"

So here's to everyone that made this last year possible. Thanks, it's been a lot of fun and we're looking forward to many more years of serving quality drinks without having to clean a bathroom. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Though this is a little late in coming...

We at the BBCC made out like bandits over the holiday season thanks largely in part to our collaborator customers that took it upon themselves to carry coffee contraband from various roaster cities the United States.

From our dear friends Victrola Coffee Roasters in Seattle we received several half pounds of coffee, carried to us by our mutual customer Ms. Katie K. In this bundle of goodies was a half pound of the mysterious Streamline Espresso, another half of some Guat (that was dropped off at our feral pig den of a roaster where it was promptly consumed) and also some of the Holiday Blend. Whether the lore is true or not, there has always been a joke among coffee roasteries that "holiday blend" is synonymous with "what was swept from the floor at the end of our busiest day ever blend," or the "no one in their right minds would drink that crap lets repackage it and sell it to all those unsuspecting suckers blend."

Coffee Gifts

Thus, Victrola's move to supply the demands of their customers with a snappy blend of Central and South American coffees minus any broken broom strands, was a brave albeit tasty maneuver. This coffee killed in both a filter drip and a french press. Shaka guys and thanks!

Thought the Holiday Blend is surely gone by now, be sure to check out their site for a unique coffee experience while supplies last.


The BBCC's very own Boychick returned to her home port of Kansas City, Mo. to get sick and hang with family. Somehow, between hurried trips from the couch to the bathroom there was a venture to the beloved Broadway Cafe and Roastery where she managed to gather coffees galore. Returning to the Bay Area in the luggage was two different coffees from Ethiopia (Sidamo and Harrar Horse) as well as a Peruvian (Ayacucho Fair Trade) and a El Salvadorian (Bourbon from Monté Leon).

Coffee Gifts

Besides providing us with funny new things to say, the BCR package kept us cupping for days. Danke!

And Then!

From the 50th State (via our Vegan, Jesse) came a sampling of some of the only coffee grown domestically. The Kona Extra Fancy from the Honolulu Coffee Company was surprisingly dark for a Kona. When questioned on this point, our Vegan merely shrugged his shoulders and told us that when in Hawaii, one usually drinks big iced coffee drinks. Can't argue with that.

Coffee Gifts

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays Y'all!

blueholiday copy

The little elves at the BBCC have been hard at work throughout the final weeks of the year to bring you all that wonderful coffee you'll be needing for presents and feasts. Enjoy your various end of the year celebrations as we try desperately to catch up on some sleep.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A tale of two roasters.

It would seem that people have begun to notice the rather lackadaisical approach we have taken to our blog of late, but really there are good reasons. The BBCC has undergone a rather dramatic change in the last month.


Part of the new space is a new roaster. For those in the know, this is a big deal. We've metaphorically abandoned our VW Bug of a Deidrich IR-7 (Small, cute, prone to catch fire and still acceptable in Berkeley) for a Classic Mercedes of a '58 Probat UG-22 (Large, German, built to last and the envy of all your friends.)

New Roaster!

Metaphors aside, James has been hard at work figuring out all the nuances of our big baby in the new roasting space in the north of Oakland. It has been tricky to get the profiles up to the standards we expect in such a short ammount of time, but we've been pleasantly surprised with the immediate changes (for the better) in the beans. For example, the Hayes has taken on a new sweetness in the tail end and seems to be less finicky about extraction times. Likewise, the Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe has blossomed in the French press, becoming one of our wholesale favorites at the likes of Hotel Biron, A16 and Chez Panisse.

Though we are a little saddened by our departure from our cozy digs in Temescal, the new roaster means that James won't be chained to the loom for 12 hours straight on Monday and Friday, leaving us all time to work on the coffee and to ignore the blog.

New Roaster!
Who says there is no "x" in expresso.

But we're not the only ones with good news. Our cross bay rivals at Ritual Coffee Roaster have finally made good on their name by acquiring one of the oldest known working coffee roaster in the States. It too is a Probat, passed on from their benefactors at Stumptown in Portland, Oregon.

To celebrate, the Ritchies had a fun-time cleaning party recently which turned into a slip n' slide jousting tournament.


Good times. Good times.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Presses for the Prince

Presses for the Prince

For those of you who haven't heard, one of the big achievements for the BBCC in the past weeks was the addition of our coffee to the dessert menu at Chez Panisse. And just in case you are either not from the Bay Area or not into food, let's say that this is a big deal.

And it just so happens that Chez Panisse was hired to cater a dinner for the visiting Royal Prince Charles and his new wife Camilla. The Prince and his wife have been touring the US and have stopped over in the Bay Area for several days. The visit has largely been focused on local organic food growers and producers, a subject the Prince in very interested in. He even has his own line of organic items called Duchy Originals.

As part of the after-meal service, the BBCC was asked to serve presses of coffee. Though we made several presses, it is unclear whether Prince Chuck even sipped of our offerings, but James found the whole experience was worth it cause he got to rub elbows with Alice herself. Boyman loved it for the herb fried almonds he pinched from the kitchen. There see, everyone is happy.

Though after watching all the fine food go by and listening to the determination that there were probably three behind the scenes workers for every person actually dining, it's easy to see why the people rise up to lop off the heads of their leaders from time to time.

"Let them eat organic cake! Tip-Tip!"

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Though it seems like only yesterday that we started committing ourselves to the internet, the Blue Bottle Clown College is officially one-year-old today!

November 2, 2005

Happy Birthday Baby! You look beautiful!

Thanks to all our readers, friends and coffee companions.