I never really had a reason to step into the Blue Bottle Café, the first grand coffee shop of the popular local artisan coffee maker, since I’m not a regular coffee drinker.

But when my niece was in town last week for her spring break and she said she wanted to check out the local coffee culture, I had an excuse to check out the place. Since opening in 2008, Blue Bottle has expanded to a few other cafes, including one in Manhattan. But it was this Mint Plaza location where it really entered the grand stage for coffee drinkers.

The café was actually smaller than what I imagined, at the corner of Jessie and Mint Streets in the shadow of the old San Francisco Mint building. The spot is so small it always looks like there’s a long line outside, but that’s mostly because the counter is so near the entrance and there’s not much space inside to stand.

I got a macchiato, as I continued my coffee education. I admit I got it mostly because I saw someone else order it and I love the cute small cup (because it’s an espresso with milk). I liked it better than the latte I had awhile back, with the flavors more rounded (although I still needed sugar).

It’s no wonder Blue Bottle Coffee has such loyal customers. From the smart designs to the friendly service – and the well-rounded coffee – Blue Bottle really makes drinking coffee an experience.

Blue Bottle Coffee Café, 66 Mint St. (at Jessie), San Francisco. Open weekdays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.bluebottlecoffee.com

Part of Blue Bottle's allure is its packaging and design

Part of Blue Bottle’s allure is its packaging and design

My first taste of a macchiato, an espresso shot with milk

My first taste of a macchiato, an espresso shot with milk

Always busy behind the counter

Always busy behind the counter

The cafe features several unique and expensive contraptions to make its specialty coffee

The cafe features several unique and expensive contraptions to make its specialty coffee

A big communal table takes up most of the cafe with additional bar seating along the wall

A big communal table takes up most of the cafe with additional bar seating along the wall

Some places have come and gone at Mint Plaza, but Blue Bottle looks like it'll be there for awhile

Some places have come and gone at Mint Plaza, but Blue Bottle looks like it’ll be there for awhile

Comments are closed.