Coffee as Kaleidoscope: The New Siphon at Blue Bottle

Our beloved Hayes Valley Blue Bottle cafe has invested in the most esoteric coffee-making device in the world: a Japanese siphon bar.

WITH its brass-trimmed halogen heating elements, glass globes and bamboo paddles, the new contraption that is to begin making coffee this week at the Blue Bottle Café here looks like a machine from a Jules Verne novel, a 19th-century vision of the future.

Called a siphon bar, it was imported from Japan at a total cost of more than $20,000. The cafe has the only halogen-powered model in the United States, and getting it here required years of elliptical discussions with its importer, Jay Egami of the Ueshima Coffee Company.

“If you just want equipment you’re not ready,” Mr. Egami said in an interview. But, he added, James Freeman, the owner of the cafe, is different: “He’s invested time. He’s invested interest. He is ready.”

My only concern will be "How much is this going to cost me and when can I just get a glass of iced tea at Blue Bottle?" Is that so much to ask?!!

UPDATE: The siphon bar is at their new location in Mint Plaza, not in Hayes Valley.

For the rest of the story, visit the Times: At Last, a $20,000 Cup of Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee Co.


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