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01/23/2008  — 

Chasing the blue dragon: Blue Bottle Coffee Opens

Blue Bottle Coffee opened up a cafe near my office today. I snuck over to check out the absurd contraption they're employing to make a cup of joe. Yes it's as kooky as it looks, yes they're as earnest about javic-perfection as you'd expect from someone using a $20K Mr. Coffee machine, yes it's expensive (my 3-cup pot was ~$10.50), but yes the coffee is great.

They had three items on the siphon bar menu. I ordered the C.O.E. Cooperativa Vasquez from Nicaragua: earthy and subtle, extremely well-balanced. Its subtly floral notes reminded me of the Panama Esmeralda Geisha that a generous friend brought over a while back. I got about 3 cups from my 'pot'. 'Kaleidoscopic' is a good term for the flavor; each cup brings out different qualities in the coffee.


The master at work


Brand new siphons






Cleaning out the grounds




So set your expectations: premium beans + meticulous preparation = mmmmm (for a price). They serve regular coffee, espresso, etc. as well. Hopefully the novelty of the siphon won't overwhelm the place and make it impossible to pick up a latte (though I'll remain a Trieste regular). Also, look for much bloggation about this in the near future. I saw about a zillion mobloggers on iphones snapping pics.

One final note is that this location is in an area getting a facelift. Looks like this will make a handsome addition to the neighborhood.

01/21/2008  — 

34 million lattes on Howard St.

I just heard that Slide landed a big pile of funding. The fact that they're getting $50 mil on a $500 million evaluation is really cool too. It's WAY above the ~5 mil median and they're still only giving up 10% of the company. Congrats to you!

Slide's neighbors, Metaweb flush with recent funding too. They pulled a 42.5 mil B-round a few days ago.

Both of these companys should be around for a while. This comes to a little under 34 million lattes at Caffe Trieste. Both of these events hit the wires a few days after my recent Caffe Trieste post. Coinkidink?

01/09/2008  — 

Caffe Trieste in SOMA is the place

I've worked in SOMA for the past few years. It's a great place to be if you like soaking in the rich stew of several hundred startups. Most folks are working on neat projects. There's a great buzz!

A few places have turned out to be buzz-centers. Caffe Centro on South Park was obviously a place where you could overhear business plans, deployment strategies... Heck, I've seen Visio UML diagrams in their recycling bins.

Since our office moved toward Market St. we've been hitting the north SOMA locus: Caffe Trieste. Step in and overhear discussions on scaling plans for the next few quarters, schema changes, testing strategies... the talk is as rich as the pastries.

Of course it is, there are a zillion companies in the Trieste neighborhood:

These are only the folks I'd recognize. There are definitely a zillion others. Who else have you seen there?


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As for the coffee... it's great. Yes, Trieste is a local chain. The folks behind the bar at this location keep close contact with home-base (the original location) up on Vallejo St. Stick with the espresso drinks. They know what they're doing.

Look for me: I'll be on the couch with a small latte and a raspberry danish.