As many of you know, I’m not supposed to be be drinking much caffeine right now. However, I refuse to get out of bed without my one cup of coffee in the morning (full disclosure: that cup of coffee is 1/3 decaf). But I love coffee. My coffee. That might have been the problem when we tried Blue Bottle Coffee.
Although I had marked “ground beans,” I noticed in my shipping confirmation that they were sending me whole. As soon as it arrived, I searched my kitchen… apparently I got rid of my coffee grinder in the move. I would gladly give up that little bit of freshness in order to not experience what must be one of the most obnoxious sounds on earth every morning (before my coffee).
I realized that maybe it was for the best that the beans weren’t ground, since I needed them coarse. A quick google search told me what to do. Beans ground, I checked the Blue Bottle website for directions—they have them, in detail, for just about every method of coffee-making there is. I have a French press. I know how I like my coffee, but I wanted to do things their way.
First, it was one tablespoon per cup (not 8 oz cup, but those weird small coffee measuring cups), and my French press supposedly makes six of those. This is two tablespoons more grounds than I normally use. After putting that in, I had to pour in twice as much boiling water, stir with something wooden, and allow it to “bloom” for 30 seconds.
Next, I filled the press and set a timer for four minutes. Blue Bottle is very specific, and they say not to guess, so I didn’t.
I didn’t want to post a review with me being the only one tasting the coffee, so I invited my daughter and her boyfriend over. However, I forgot that they are teenagers. Their version of coffee is what basically amounts to the coffee-flavored milkshakes served at Starbucks, Dutch Bros, and even McDonald’s. I’m not saying those don’t taste good, but they aren’t COFFEE.
When they put spoonful after spoonful of sugar in their coffee, I realized this probably wasn’t the best audience. I’m pretty sure there was at least half a cup in each of their coffee cups! Their response, “Um, it’s good… is it the only coffee we’re trying?”
For me, it was stronger than I like, with a bit of a bitter taste. I made my fiancé—not a coffee drinker—try it, and he said, “It’s camp coffee.” I asked what that meant, but apparently it’s hard to describe. Strong and a little bitter, maybe? Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish mine. I liked it less and less as it cooled.
I wanted to be sure the coffee had a fair chance, so I called my dad and told him I needed to make him a cup of coffee for my blog. He said okaayyy….
My dad arrived just after I poured the rest of the water over the “bloomed” grounds, so I explained that it would be four minutes. I know that he likes his coffee strong, and I would describe most of his coffee as slightly bitter, so I thought there was a good chance he would like the Blue Bottle Coffee. The timer went off, and I poured him a cup.
This is where I should probably mention that my dad lost most of his sense of smell years ago (something that comes up with my doctor at least once a year when my allergies get bad and he dares to suggest a nasal spray—not happening). This also takes away a lot of his sense of taste, only I didn’t realize how much until just now.
“Well, it’s hot liquid,” he said. What?! That’s it? I showed him the card and explained that those were supposed to be the flavors. He laughed. He said he didn’t taste any coffee flavor. The coffee that was too strong for me was nowhere near strong enough for him. He kept drinking, eventually saying that he tasted something else. Like what, I wondered? Was it any of the flavors on the card? He kept sipping and thinking. Finally, he decided. “It has a dry aftertaste. Almost more like a feeling.”
Blue Bottle Coffee was not for my family. However, it tastes like a better version of what is served in most restaurants, so it probably is good coffee. At only $5 for your first 12 oz bag, it is definitely worth trying, and they have tons of cool gadgets and accessories, if you’re into that.