Is Blue Bottle super fancy coffee for java nerds or heaven for all of us?

The people of Blue Bottle Coffee are not just coffee lovers. They’re fanatics.

They undergo rigorous training to get to this state, though we suspect they were born this way. They know everything about flavor and grinding and roasting and extraction.

They own scales to measure the grounds. They use filtered water and words like “terroir” when discussing their product. This is not a phrase you will ever hear at Dunkin’ Donuts.

The Blue Bottle Army lives for coffee, like we all do. They just do it better.

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Baristas train for at least six weeks at Blue Bottle’s home base in Oakland, California, before being unleashed on the world.

Here’s the thing, though. You can make fun of Blue Bottle and its fancy  pants accoutrements all you like. But the coffee is amazing, and the gadgets  make great gifts for the bean-addicted.

Recently named one of the top 25 roasters in the country by Gear Patrol (along with Miami’s Panther Coffee), Blue Bottle has locations in the Design District at 3818 NE First Ave. and in the new wing of the Aventura Mall. The company, which emphasizes close relationships with growers and continuing sustainability, is also opening cafes soon in Coconut Grove and South Beach.

Yes. Craft coffee is a thing, even though Blue Bottle is now owned by corporate giant Nestle.  Deal with it.

What you absolutely need to know

A macchiato served with love. Or at least a heart.
  • When you order a cup in the cafe, it may take a few minutes longer than you expect. Each cup is made from scratch.
  • A latte will cost you $4.75.
  • Your choices for milk and sweetener are limited to basic sugar, whole milk or almond or oat milk as a substitute. No Splenda. No Stevia. No half and half. This is part of Blue Bottle’s theory of what tastes good. They know what’s best for you, so stop whining for skim milk.
  • You can order bags of Blue Bottle coffee online or at the cafe when you order your latte. It comes in bags of whole beans or single-serving packs marked with the day the beans were roasted.
  • If you’re making pour-over coffee, you must always pour the water in the same direction at 30 second intervals. Clockwise, counter clockwise, either is OK. But don’t get all crazy and pour it one way, then the other. That is anarchy.

What we love about Blue Bottle Coffee

The avocado toast: Simple but perfect.

The homemade goods: We recommend the rhubarb pound cake, which tastes like butter and goodness, and the cream cheese scone with everything spice, which tastes like an everything bagel.

The cold brew kit: Finally, a way to make good cold brew at home. This makes a good gift, too: $45 for the bottle and three packets of Three Africas coffee. Blue Bottle also sells dripper sets and filters. You can also buy a small bottle of the Oji cold brew for $3.50, but don’t drink it like a shot. Pour it over a single ice cube and savor it like it’s bourbon.

The El Salvador Aida Batlle Grand Reserve Peaberry coffee: Or, as I like to call it, possibly the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Those individual, single-serving packets: Grab a pack to go or order online. Perfect for hurricane season when you don’t have power to fire up the grinder but do have a gas stove to heat water.

What we don’t love about Blue Bottle Coffee

There isn’t one near our office.

This is how they make the seriously fancy beverages, in particular Oji cold brew, which is best served over a single ice cube like bourbon. You can buy a small bottle for $3.50.

Read more: Everything you need to know about ordering Cuban coffee

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