Hello, my name is Cindy, and I am not a coffee drinker.
For some reason, people are surprised whenever they find this out because I “seem” like a coffee person. I don’t really know what that means, but alas, I am not. The taste doesn’t appeal to me, but I like the IDEA of coffee–holding a warm mug in your hands and sniffing in the aroma while sitting in a quaint coffee shop environment–but then I realize that I could just as easily be doing that with a chai latte or hot chocolate. Sorry coffee fiends!
When my (coffee-loving) mom was in town recently, I wanted to take her to Blue Bottle Coffee because I had heard so many rave reviews about it. I told her that it was supposed to be the BEST coffee, and she promptly responded, “What do you know about coffee?” Touché, mother! She went along with it anyway and it helped that the Blue Bottle location we were going to was the one in the concourse of Rockefeller Plaza, one of her favorite places in New York City.
The story behind the Blue Bottle name is a rather interesting one, steeped in history. I’ll give you the condensed version. In the 1600s, the Turkish army made their way across Eastern and Central Europe and arrived in Vienna. The Viennese needed an emissary to send for help to nearby Polish troops, but that person would have to pass through the Turkish army to do so. A man named Franz George Kolshitzky completed the mission, and when the Turks ultimately left Vienna, they left behind many things including a bag of coffee beans. Kolshitzky used this to open Central Europe’s first coffee house in 1686 and named it “House under the Blue Bottle” or “The Blue Bottle.”
The Blue Bottle Coffee we know today was founded in Oakland, California and named in memory of this story. According to the company’s website, the founder wanted “a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of freshly roasted coffee,” so he vowed to use the finest beans that were responsibly sourced and sell coffee that was less than 48 hours out of the roaster.
The Blue Bottle location in Rockefeller Plaza is pretty stark. The beverage menu is limited and while there are some pastries, there aren’t any sandwich or lunch options available for purchase. It’s really all about the coffee. My mom ordered a latte and I ordered a hot chocolate, which they make with Mast Brothers chocolate (fancy chocolate I’ve been wanting to try for a very long time).
I’ve already kind of ruined my coffee cred, so I’ll just give you my mom’s reaction–she said it was definitely the best coffee she’s ever had. What more do you need to know? If you’re curious, my hot chocolate was more on the bitter, pure cacao side rather than super sugary like other, if not most, hot chocolates out there. I wish I could tell you more about the intricacies of why this coffee is the best, but I only had a sip and I’m no connoisseur. We all know that mothers know best though.
Oh, and they do the pretty leaf thing with their drinks here, so Instagram away. 😉
1 Rockefeller Plaza
Concourse Level, Ste D
New York, NY 10020