In the case of W. James Freeman, dreams really do come true. In 2002, this freelance clarinetist made his break into the coffee world and opened Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, CA.  

So what exactly is Blue Bottle Coffee?

The first Blue Bottle Coffee may have been down a sketchy alley in Hayes Valley, but its namesake is a true treasure of western coffee history. The Blue Bottle was Europe's first coffee house opened by Franz George Kolshitsky in the wake of Turkish expulsion from Vienna.

This noble heritage is exemplified by the vow Freeman made when creating Blue Bottle. He stated, “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.” This vow ensures that if you drink a cup of Blue Bottle coffee it will be a transcendant experience. 

Their coffee is fresh as f***

If Freeman's vow was not impressive enough to convince you, as you learn more about Blue Bottle, you will discover that their shops cluster in only four locations (rarity makes the heart grow fonder). Freeman believes that coffee should not be consumed more than three days out of the roaster, therefore, bottle shops only open near his roasting headquarters (Oakland, LA, NYC, and now, Tokyo). #exclusive

They foster a dynamic community

As for many commodities, the coffee supply chain is long and complex. More often than not, coffee consumers are so distant from the growers that they don't even know where the location on the coffee label is on a map. Blue Bottle attempts to shorten the chain and tries to bring all those involved in the growing, buying, roasting, brewing, and drinking of their coffee together with their single origin beans.

This means that most of the Blue Bottle coffee you drink comes from a single sustainable source of green beans. A single grower, a single farm, and even a single acre on that farm. Different from a regular coffee blend, a cup of single origin coffee has a story about the time, place, and grower that it came from. This pulls the coffee community together right in the steaming, rich liquid part of your morning routine. 

Their tutorials will change the way you look at coffee

I already consider myself a coffee white belt because I only started drinking it last year. However, after watching Blue Bottle tutorials and reading their blog, I realized that the world of coffee was like another dimension that I didn't know existed.

Apparently, the baristas at Blue Bottle are so elite that they have to pass examinations in front of a barista jury (think Top Chef). Because of this, their contributions to the Blue Bottle community are top-notch and genuine. They share their tips and thoughts which can be as quotable as this statement, "This technofetishism and obsession with craft has characterized much of the press hype around Third Wave coffee culture while obscuring the less visible, harder to articulate, yet more fundamental truths that separate shit from shinola." (Try remembering and repeating that one.)

The NOLA cold brew will rock your world

Put that iced latté down and forget everything you ever thought about summer coffee consumption. After tasting the New Orleans cold brew I had to take a moment to determine if I had just sipped on ambrosia or a coffee unlike any I had ever drank. It was not just a taste — it was an out-of-body experience.

The NOLA cold brew elixir is a delicate balance of coffee cold brewed with roasted chicory and laced with cane sugar and whole milk. Nothing short of addicting, this is the holy grail of iced coffee, and if you know what's good for you, you'll put drinking it on your Epicurean bucket list. 

They offer subscriptions

I know, at this point, you're sick of reading and really just want to be enjoying your own mug of Blue Bottle goodness. Don't you fear! Blue Bottle caters to the needs of us who aren't trendy enough to live in California, New York, or Japan.

The Blue Bottle subscriptions help to spread the love of superlative coffee by shipping their beans within the 24 hours they leave the roaster. Therefore, even in the comfort of your very own midwestern home, your mornings have the chance to get a little bit more special and a lot more caffeinated.