Blue Bottle Coffee: Europe’s First Coffee House

Grace Sandman, Staff

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Known as Central Europe’s first-ever coffee house, Blue Bottle Coffee is a coffee shop with roots stretching back to the 1600s. According to its website, Franz George Kolshitsky, a member of the Turkish army, was given money by the mayor of Vienna to brew coffee for his people. In the early 2000s, a musician and coffee addict established Blue Bottle Coffee as a way to honor Kilshitsky’s heroism. 

The coffee shop first started in Oakland and flourished as hundreds of people would line up out the door for a taste of its speciality coffee. Blue Bottle Coffee has turned into a chain of coffee houses, spanning from the U.S. to Japan. The international company works with coffee bean farmers across the globe who are dedicated to brewing the freshest coffee possible. The company is also known for its delicious pastries and other breakfast foods.


As I traveled through the San Francisco Ferry Building, my nose led me to Blue Bottle’s fresh pastries, which were inside a small cart with a bright blue bottle logo on top. Before I reached the cart, I noticed many people passing by me holding open mugs with intricate designs embedded on the steamed milk of their lattes. They were works of art. I would have wanted one even if I didn’t love coffee. 

I only had a short amount of time, so I was not able to wait for a latte. I ordered a regular coffee and a “Liege Waffle.” The Liege Waffle looked like an ordinary waffle except it sparkled. Bite-sized sugar crystals shimmered atop my waffle as light shined down from the Ferry Building’s skylight. I felt as though a Disney theme song ought to play in the background. 

I took a bite and, with a tiny crunch of sugar crystals, the sweetness exploded in my mouth. Each bite of the Liege Waffle helped me understand why this little cart in the Ferry Building had such a long line. Next time, I plan to try one of the ham and cheese waffles, alongside a latte with a leaf design on top.  

About the Writer
Photo of Grace Sandman
Grace Sandman, Staff

Grace is currently a rising sophomore at Westridge School in Pasadena, CA. She loves making films, trying different foods, reading, and swimming. She hopes...

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Blue Bottle Coffee: Europe’s First Coffee House