For many of us, coffee is a daily staple. It helps us wake up in the morning, gives us a boost in the afternoon and is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll on the High Line - no matter what time of day. In this installment of Elevated Eats, we go behind the scenes with Blue Bottle Coffee – whose mission is creating the perfect cup of Joe.
Blue Bottle Coffee has been providing high-quality, delicious brews for more than 10 years. Its founder sources coffee beans responsibly and roasts locally to provide guests with the freshest coffee around.
In the back of the Blue Bottle Williamsburg storefront and roastery, staff members gather for the daily "cupping" – a tasting process aimed at keeping consistency of high quality and flavor. Tasters pick up on aroma, sweetness and body. Blue Bottle offers public cuppings on Thursdays at noon if you're interested in getting in on the process.
A beautiful antique Probat roaster is responsible for getting the beans just right. Each roasting cycle is a 10-16 minute process and happens six days a week, 12-25 times a day. That's a lot of beans!
Once roasting is complete, coffee is bagged for retail sale and for use at Blue Bottle locations like the High Line. Retail bags of coffee are available within 48 hours of roasting to ensure freshness. There are four to five coffee varieties available at any given time.
All non-espresso drinks are made using the pour-over process. This process provides a clean cup of coffee and is worth the 3-4 minutes it takes to produce. Espresso lovers out there, don't fret! Blue Bottle makes an incredible cappuccino as well.
Now, what to have with that coffee you might ask? A perfect pairing is the light, buttery sweetness of a shortbread cookie. This treat is the first item of a new bakery menu that will be rolling out soon. In exciting news, Blue Bottle has teamed up with the beloved Tartine Bakery in San Francisco to offer a mix of treasured favorites and delicious surprises from both of their kitchens. Expect to find a full roster of these new offerings at Blue Bottle on the High Line next summer!
Nisse, a Blue Bottle baker, leads us through the process of making an Irish style shortbread. This classic treat contains only five ingredients: sugar, salt, flour, cornstarch and butter. The Vermont butter softening has to be just right before adding the other ingredients.
After all the elements are mixed and smoothed on a cookie sheet, they go in the oven for an hour.
Once the shortbread has baked, it's expertly cut before it cools. About 100 cookies are made with each batch, twice a day.
Curious about the full coffee journey? Check out Blue Bottle's video, From Plant to Cup: Brew an Amazing Cup of Coffee.
All photos by Amelia Krales.