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Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
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christiang
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Posted Fri Nov 21, 2008, 10:34pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

Well, I visited on November 7th but heard about it from friends back at the beginning of October.  I'm way too tired to figure out the first dibs rubric, but hey, I'm a generous guy.  I'm willing to forgo the trophy.
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GaryH
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Posted Sun Nov 23, 2008, 11:07pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

Obviously doesn't really matter who posted about Fraiche first. Main thing is that I was able to find out about it thanks to these coffee blogs. The staff at Fraiche told me that they have been pulling shots with Blue Bottle coffee beans since they opened 18 months ago. So it took a while for a coffeegeek to find out about it and write about it in a blog.  

Downtown Palo Alto has a wondeful nightlife and I also love going there at night and stroll around. There are many coffee houses in Palo Alto and now I make Fraiche a mandatory visit when I'm there. This time I simply ordered an espresso and had this Hayes Valley double shot which had nice complexity, just not as much chocolate, berry, and body as the shots I had there last week.

GaryH: Fraiche_Blue_Bottle_6a.jpg
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GaryH
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Posted Sun Nov 23, 2008, 11:08pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

While strolling at night in Palo Alto, in addition to visiting Fraiche, I also visited Peet's coffee where I had a low fat decaf vanilla latte (yes, I like to drink these too). Also made it to Del Doge which uses beans from Venice, Italy, to pull shots (I know, not good). Shot pulled with Nero beans had a nice strong nutty flavor, but no complexity. So for $7 I got to enjoy three coffees at three different coffee houses which is still less expensive than going to a fancy bar in Palo Alto and have just one Port.

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wenus2
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Posted Mon Nov 24, 2008, 12:54am
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

Yah, but you didn't get any port.... ;-[)

 
enjoy the journey
-jw
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parity
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Posted Mon Nov 24, 2008, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

I went to Fraiche with my wife on the weekend. It was quite busy and very noisy. Everyone else seemed to be gorging themselves on frozen yogurt. I ordered an espresso and  my wife had a cappuccino. My espresso came up first and maybe I was expecting too much but I wasn't impressed. The crema didn't have that reddish brown color that you would expect. The shot tasted okay but it was kind of bright with some fruity notes but nothing else going on. To our mutual horror, my wife's cappuccino came in a to go cup. Why would they serve my espresso in an espresso cup and then put her cappuccino in a to go cup? The foam was styrofoam-ish; it wasn't as bad as starbucks but wasn't close to microfoam. I'll probably give it a try again in the future but it probably won't be on a weekend.
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GaryH
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Posted Tue Nov 25, 2008, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

I went to Fraiche on Tuesday 11/25/08 and had a nice complex tasting Hayes Valley double ristretto. They gave me permission to go behind the counter and take a picture of the pour. There wasn't much light back there so pic didn't turn out to well, but the mouse tail pour is visible. The naked PF doesn't show a crema cone indicating not much CO2 in the beans. Still a good enjoyable tasty shot that I was happy with.

GaryH: Fraiche_Blue_Bottle_7.jpg
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GaryH
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Posted Wed Dec 3, 2008, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

I finally got a mediocre Blue Bottle Hayes Valley double ristretto at Fraiche. The flavor was only one third the quality Hayes Valley is cabable of. The good thing is that the barista told me before she pulled the shot, that she was having problems with the Hayes Valley today and that it was pulling blond (beans were two days after roast). She offered to pull me another shot on the GB5 which was a bit sweeter. So there, Fraiche is just like any other TW coffee house where shots don't come out well sometimes. (and now you know what all these people are looking at, cute)

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Frost
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Posted Wed Dec 3, 2008, 5:41pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

I really enjoy reading your cafe and shot reviews Gary, the pictures and all!!!! Nice work. I wouldn't blame the barista  for not being able to pull a good shot from beans 2 days off the roaster.  They need to have some beans around for a few more days to give the barista a fighting chance. Sounds like they know the score. Thanks!
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GaryH
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Posted Wed Dec 3, 2008, 6:48pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

Frost Said:

I really enjoy reading your cafe and shot reviews Gary, the pictures and all!!!! Nice work. I wouldn't blame the barista  for not being able to pull a good shot from beans 2 days off the roaster.  They need to have some beans around for a few more days to give the barista a fighting chance. Sounds like they know the score. Thanks!

Posted December 3, 2008 link

At Fraiche they always pull shots with Hayes Valley only a few days after roast and it's not a problem for them to get great shots like that. The barista never mentioned freshness was the cause of the blond ristrettos. Blue Bottle likes to roast their beans quite dark. Don't know how that effects outgassing. Info from BB web site, "After roasting, coffee beans exhale CO2 for several hours...we mix the blends and bag them within 4 hours of roasting to harness the CO2 to keep oxygen out of the bags". Sounds like most CO2 is gone from the beans within four hours. They don't mention that beans continue to outgas for days. At the San Francisco farmers market Blue Bottle brews drip coffee with beans that are only one day after roast.

I love taking pics of coffee houses and the coffee they serve. I think most people don't take pics because they are too afraid to take pics.
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GaryH
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GaryH
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Posted Sun Dec 21, 2008, 5:31pm
Subject: Re: Frozen yogurt and Blue Bottle Coffee in Palo Alto
 

WOW!! That is what I couldn't help myself say after drinking this Blue Bottle Hayes Valley espresso on 12/21/08. That was a really tasty shot! So Hayes Valley can be very good at Fraiche, just not very consistent. While at Fraiche I noticed a guy finishing up his cappa. I asked him if he got latte art on it. He said yes! So I also ordered one and had this cappa with art. Decent taste but the microfoam was not as silky smooth and sweet as I would like in a cappa. At Fraiche they told me that all baristas have been trained to pour latte art, but not all are confident enough to do it all the time.

Update. On January 23, 2008 I had a Blue Bottle Hayes valley espresso at Fraiche and it was slightly burned with minor complexity. So Fraiche is inconsistent which is unfortunate since a Hayes Valley is capable of being pulled as an amazing espresso.

GaryH: Fraiche_Blue_Bottle_9a.jpg
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