Mint Plaza & Blue Bottle Coffee

“The one across from Square” is what my friend Ben called the Blue Bottle Coffee location, referring to the tech startup across the street. You know you’re in Silicon Valley when coffee shops are referenced according to the nearest hot startup. 

If you were really to get technical about it, the little space is called Mint Plaza—a little yuppie inlet, set off from the busy Mission Street. That part of Mission Street is actually where things get a little dodgy—crack addicts in wheel chairs and kids playing craps and other rough types who scatter out from the shelter on 6th street. People say it’s an area prime to be gentrified with Square and Twitter (both productions by entrepreneur and CEO Jack Dorsey) setting up shop and ever more fancy condos filling the lots. But for now the homeless and bored still congregate around the bus stops and benches. 

But once you turn right onto Mint Street and walk a block down to Mint Plaza proper, the yuppies and startup types appear. Young guys on iPhones and ladies with laptops, women in yoga pants and people helping their dogs to the puppy biscuits on the store counter. A BMW flies past every now and then looking for parking. 

Inside the coffee shop, the brightly lit space is fitted with long, beautiful wood bars. Fit for the cool geeks that the shop attracts, this Blue Bottle location is stocked with “our prettiest and most delicate gear,” says the coffee shop itself. This means fancy Japanese apparatus made of glass—high tech all in the name of good coffee.

The five-light siphon bar is said to be the first of its kind in the U.S.

It produces the coffee at just the right temperature in exactly the right time. 

They also have a selection of simple sandwiches for lunch—like this ham, cheese, and butter ‘wich made from ACME bread. 

Blue Bottle Coffee
Mint Plaza
66 Mint Street, San Francisco
M-F 7-7, Saturday 8-6, Sunday 8-4.

4 responses
We haven't talked about it in a while, but Chris Pirillo used to make coffee like this at home. His specific poison was strong coffee with heavy cream. I used to make jokes about infant Panda formula.
Ernie, how cool! Did he own these cool coffee gadgets? I would love to have them myself, but they are really expensive at Blue Bottle!
Yeah, he wrote about exactly what he had and where he got it on his Lockergnome website. I think he got a lot of his equipment from retro shops: Before he moved to the West Coast, I believe he was in Iowa. I'm not sure where he was when he got it all, but I'm sure he shopped it on the Internet.
Ernie, interesting facts! Will have to check it out.