A Photo Tour of Williamsburg's New Blue Bottle Coffee -- But What Is Missing?

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"Jeez! This place is gigantic," a friend exclaimed as we stepped inside Blue Bottle. (Click on the pictures for a better view.)

It being one of the nicest days of the century, a friend and I decided to go to Williamsburg to check out Blue Bottle Coffee, Oakland, CA's contribution to the New York coffee wars, and a place enthusiastically recommended by Fork in the Road's San Francisco-based beer consultant, Tracy Van Dyk. The company describes itself as "Microroasters of Organic and Shade Grown Coffees."

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An SG-120 made with Ethiopian coffee.

Converted from a garage, the place is gigantic. All coffee served on the premises is currently being roasted in back. A menu on the counter offers a bare-bones list of coffee beverages, but in several inscrutable permutations. For example, a macchiato with a bit of extra milk, termed SG-120 (named after the cup in which it comes), is available only using Ethiopian Amaro Guyo Natural. Clearly, this is a place aimed at coffee fanciers of the most particular sort.

In this way, it somewhat resembles Stumptown and 9th Street Espresso, and, indeed, baristas from other coffee bars recognized by my friend Liz Clayton could be seen circulating in the vicinity of the place. ("Baristas are not competitive, only curious," she said.) I say circulating, because in common with several other no-nonsense new coffee bars, there's no place whatsoever to sit down. Which kinda defeats the traditional purpose of the coffee bar, right?

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Some curious coffee-making contraptions stand along one wall.

Next: Lots more photos

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