In addition to finding such high-end breakfast items as "pancetta souffle ($9.50), porcini flan ($11), egg and potato torte with warm bread ($5.50) and morel poached eggs ($8)" on Blue Bottle Cafe's menu, what you will also find is the pupil-dilating coffee percolating from their $20,000 siphon bar.
Called a siphon bar, it was imported from Japan at a total cost of more than $20,000. The cafe has the only halogen-powered model in the United States, and getting it here required years of elliptical discussions with its importer, Jay Egami of the Ueshima Coffee Company.
“If you just want equipment you’re not ready,” Mr. Egami said in an interview. But, he added, James Freeman, the owner of the cafe, is different: “He’s invested time. He’s invested interest. He is ready.”
What's more, the siphon bar doesn't make espresso or lattes, only coffee. And donuts? We sure hope so. And as soon as the place opens its doors, we'll grab a cup or four and report back to you on its Taster's Choice-worthiness.
Photo care of Peter DaSilva for the New York Times