Blue Bottle Coffee Brings The Taste & History Of Vienna To Your Cup

By Sylvia Valdez

Photo From Yelp

As I walked into this downtown coffee shop,  I couldn’t help but admire and appreciate the crisp, neat, almost Ikea-like feel to the room. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee immediately drew me in. The minimalistic approach to the décor made one thing clear, this place is all about the coffee.

I ordered the New Orleans, which was truly delightful. The taste wasn’t overpowering, and it was slightly sweet. The ratio of ice cubes to liquid was balanced, enough to make the coffee feel cool without truly being cold. While I ordered I noticed how simple, also minimalistic, the menu was. The menu matched the environment, wooden panels, nailed to the white walls. Simple yet striking and well thought out. 

Among the items besides coffee, I noticed Blue Bottle Coffee also makes their own chocolate bars. It’s a nice touch to go with an iconic and recognizable logo. Their modest menu also offers finger food and a straightforward list of coffees and brews. The bare menu keeps one thing in mind, the quality of the coffee and the fact that the coffee is the star, the food, the supporting cast. The food items included finger food to compliment your cup of joe. Lemon poppyseed loaves, biscuits, cookies, croissants and a new favorite, made-to-order waffles. The waffles come neatly tucked into a coffee filter., another reminder of the star of the show. They also offer prepackaged snacks, in case you’re on the go. Additionally you’ll find an array of bottled beverages, and healthy snacks- granola and such.

Photo From Yelp

Also located adjacent to the register is a shelf of items to buy. There’s a range from coffee accessories, to tea kettles, and even coffee brewing kits, perfect for that one friend who says they love coffee, but has never brewed before. 

As I sat there staring at the Victor Clothing Co. mural, I closed my eyes and listened to the coffee machines, the plates clinking together, and the people enjoying themselves. My mind also drifted to the story I read on the company’s website about how all this came to be. 

As published on their site the origin story goes like this. 

“In the late 1600s, the Turkish army swept across much of Eastern and Central Europe, arriving at Vienna in 1683. Besieged and desperate, the Viennese needed an emissary who could cross Turkish lines to get a message to nearby Polish troops. Franz George Kolshitsky, who spoke Turkish and Arabic, took on the assignment, disguised in Turkish uniform. After many perilous close calls, Kolshitsky completed his valiant deed, delivering news of the Poles’ imminent rescue to Vienna.

On September 13, the Turks were repelled from the city, leaving everything they brought, including strange bags of beans, which were thought to be camel feed. Kolshitsky, having lived in the Arab world for several years, knew these to be bags of coffee. Using money bestowed on him by the mayor of Vienna, Kolshitsky bought the coffee and opened Central Europe’s first-ever coffee house, The Blue Bottle, bringing coffee to a grateful Vienna.”

Cool story for a cool place.

I experienced Blue Bottle Coffee in downtown LA at 300 S. Broadway. But Blue Bottle Coffee is all over Los Angeles and in many cities so you have many opportunities to experience it. To learn more about the company or more about its many Southern California locations, click here.