March 01, 2017

From Blue Bottle: 

Details: Named after the San Francisco neighborhood that houses our first ever brick and mortar location, the Hayes Valley Espresso is our darkest-roasted blend: lower-toned, minimal brightness, plenty of chocolate. The shots are achingly heavy with voluptuous red-brown crema. 

Digression: Well-extracted espressi yield the silky, somewhat dangerous-looking viscosity of a power-steering stop-leak product once used on our heroically battered (and now sadly departed) 1983 Peugeot. 

Deliciousness: Cocoa, orange zest, smoky finish 

Dose: 20g

Boiler Temperature: 201.5 F

Extraction: 32 sec. 

Yield: 20-20.5 g

Our Take

First, all the information above was given to us in the Blue Bottle package along with the coffee in a small piece of marketing material. We love how they provided optimal brewing conditions. Such a great feature, especially if you're using your own home espresso machine

About Blue Bottle

For those unfamiliar, Blue Bottle is one of the top coffee subscription services. Brewers of their own coffee, Blue Bottle has established themselves as a force in the subscription world. You can order coffee for all types of brewing, including espresso, and have it come in whole bean or ground form. 

Hayes Valley Espresso - Whole Bean

Pros Cons
Fruity Flavor Somewhat poor aftertaste
Smoky Aroma Versatile - every shot tastes different 
Beautiful Crema
Easy to Dial In


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Hayes Valley is a great bean.

Blue Bottle states it has a smoky finish and man are they right. Depending on your preferences, this is either a positive or negative aspect. Some like a smooth flow and easy after taste. If thats you, you may want to look for a less aggressive bean. But, if you like a rough aftertaste & something that really hits you - look no further.

Other notes consist of cocoa and orange zest. In our experience with Hayes Valley, everything has to be perfect (grind, temp. settings, etc.) to fully bring all the notes out. When you get everything dialed in perfectly for these beans, the orange zest is apparent and a wonderful treat. Something we liked the most amount these beans was actually something completely unrelated to it's taste - the crema! It yields a very dark red-ish brown hue that just looks awesome, especially during extraction (if using a bottomless portafilter).

Who is this blend for? 

This is a solid blend for beginners or those looking for a good, everyday bean. (I believe this is the most used bean for Blue Bottle's many cafés).

What about the chocolate? 

You know what, we didn't get much of a chocolate taste. In fact, we got the opposite. We tasted fruit and orange more than chocolate. Blue Bottle states this is one of their darker blends. That would usually mean it'll yield a rougher, harder shot but we got a wonderful, fruity taste. Go figure.

Is it consistent? 

No. And this is why we placed it in the con section above. Each shot tasted different - no joke. Some were light, some were dark. Some were rough, some were smooth. Maybe we just don't know what we're doing (extremely unlikely) but we found this bean yo be incredibly versatile.   

Equipment Used

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