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Oakland's Blue Bottle Coffee is taking it global

Barista means a lot of things to a lot of people. From daily savior to walk of shame witness, there’s no doubt that your local barista has become a significant fixture in your life.

Leading the third-wave (we’re still on third-wave, yes?) of high-end coffee chains is Blue Bottle Coffee, whose freshly roasted coffee from single-origin, responsibly-sourced beans has garnered the company a nearly-cultish following.

CEO James Freeman is a former freelance musician and self-described coffee “lunatic” who launched the company more than ten years ago in Oakland. After Blue Bottle recently raised $45.5 million, they’ve picked up their expansion pace (as one does with that kind of cash).

In addition to the recent acquisitions of LA’s Handsome Coffee Roasters and coffee subscription service Tonx, Blue Bottle is going global – they’re opening shop in Tokyo later this year.

This is on top of a dozen existing outposts in Oakland, San Francisco, New York, and Brooklyn.

Next up for the company is a new digital strategy, taking over Handsome’s coffee roasting facility, plus new cafés in Venice and L.A.

Blue Bottle recently added 32 to its staff of 240, with 22 open positions internationally. We’re talking everything from software engineer to, yes, barista.

Get all the details here.

Now go forth (and get your heart racing).


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