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Blue Bottle Coffee brings a distinctive approach to its cafes, culture, and coffee.


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Editor’s Letter

Blue Bottle patrons of Tokyo

Michael Phillips, Director of Coffee Culture, Blue Bottle Coffee

Slow Coffee
Blue Bottle’s three extraction recipes for balanced tastes

Baristas and roasters representing Blue Bottle’s distinctive coffee culture

Oakland roastery and cupping room–the control room for taste at all Blue Bottle cafés

Various Blue Bottle products showing off the brand’s aesthetic and use of new technology

Taesu Im, creative branding director of Stndrd

Blue Bottle cafés in California bring out local cultures and quirks

Spaces that materialize the Blue Bottle brand philosophy and coffee experience

Saki Igawa, Executive Vice President of Experience, Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle cafés in Japan reflect characteristics of different neighborhoods while remaining welcome and friendly

Café Society
Blue Bottle’s influence and driving force for growth, as explained by those involved with the brand

New Wave
Roastery cafés in Tokyo that are spreading specialty coffee culture after the arrival of Blue Bottle in Japan


Brand Story
The stories behind Blue Bottle’s birth and growth

James Freeman, Founder, Blue Bottle Coffee Bryan Meehan, CEO, Blue Bottle Coffee

Henry House
Henry House, the Blue Bottle Coffee headquarters in Oakland

Blue Bottle training imparts its corporate culture and hospitality philosophy to new employees

Large-scale investments and acquisitions that laid the foundation for the brand’s growth

Locations where Blue Bottle Coffee’s single origin coffee beans are sourced

Coffee Capitals
Four cities with distinctly unique café cultures

A look at Blue Bottle’s second global destination

Blue Bottle’s specialty coffee business and influence in numbers




A global byword for specialty coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee was established by the clarinet player-turned-coffee guru James Freeman in 2002. Freeman established firm footing for the brand’s distinct coffee culture based on his experience selling drip coffee from a cart at farmers’ markets. His secret is to focus entirely on the delicate nuances of coffee beans and hospitality-based individualized service. Somewhat of a unicorn in the coffee world, Blue Bottle Coffee has attracted significant investments from Silicon Valley, and has steadily expanded across the US, with far-flung locations in Tokyo and Seoul.

This coffee craze has largely been propelled forward by certain coffee houses or brands, rather than by the coffee itself. Blue Bottle Coffee, featured in this issue, is the leading coffee brand behind the beverage’s phenomenal popularity for the last decade. As a frontrunner of specialty coffee—which is regarded as the third wave of coffee—Blue Bottle Coffee managed to create its own distinctive tastes and improve the entire coffee experience. Thanks to the brand’s concerted efforts, the high-end coffee industry has seen incredible growth over the years. Harking back to our publication seven years ago, B also covered Intelligentsia, another specialty coffee brand that is often referenced alongside Blue Bottle.

As of May 2023, Magazine B has introduced a new series, “Perspectives”. Interviews with founders and leaders of some of Magazine B’s profiled companies, all answering the following question:


“How do you define yourself, and what kind of person do you want to live with in the future?”


This interview with Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman is fascinating. Among the more interesting notes is his paraphrasing of Mario Cuomo’s famous quote about politicians, that they “campaign in poetry, and govern in prose.” As a start-up founder who was able to sell his company to financiers who were able to scale it, he noted the difference between founding and scaling a company this way:


“Brands are founded in poetry and scaled in prose.”

We’ll be adding these to other brands, including “Rapha”, “Ace Hotel”.

Coming next month, an interview with Magazine B founder Suyong Joh.

Additional information

Weight 380 g
Dimensions 9.75 × 7 × .75 in





6.69 X 9.45in

Issue #


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