The San Francisco Bay Area is legendary for its coffee — and that java culture is flying east. Oakland's Blue Bottle Coffee will open its first Florida location in Miami's Design District (3800 NE First Ave.) by summer 2017. A location in Aventura will follow by early 2018, along with a third, though its location has yet to be determined.
"We’ve always been drawn to art and design," says James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee. "We think it's fitting that our debut in Miami will be in one of the most glamorous, Le Corbusier-like parking garages in existence, in the company of a Baldessari mural and surrounded by the vibrancy of Miami’s cultural life."
"But practically speaking, the Design District is the café we are able to break ground on first," he adds. "Aventura will be in the new wing of Aventura Mall. The wing itself will be completed in fall 2017, and we will begin work on our café as soon as possible."
Blue Bottle Coffee's history can be traced to Central Europe, where a little place called the Blue Bottle opened in Vienna in the early 1700s. Nearly 320 years later, Freeman, a freelance musician with an affinity for coffee, decided to pay homage by opening a roaster. Now, about 15 years later, Blue Bottle Coffee has locations in California, New York, and Tokyo.
Freeman says he's excited to expand to Miami. "We think Miami has a really interesting coffee culture without Blue Bottle," he says. "And we’re hoping to learn more about it as we get closer to opening. Panther... is doing great work in coffee and seems to be thriving... and the cubanos served streetside in tiny Styrofoam cups... what an enticing ritual."
At Blue Bottle Coffee, brews are sold within 48 hours of roasting, and coffee mailed to long-distance guests ships within 24 hours to ensure peak freshness. Besides serving coffee, the Miami café will offer a curated menu of sweet and savory treats. The menu has not been announced yet.
"In our spaces, you can sit quietly with a coffee and focus on the sensory experience of that coffee," Freeman says. "We hope that every detail — from the countertops and the blue straws to the bag hooks and the smiles of our baristas — opens a space for our guests to make themselves at home."
According to Freeman, the locations will offer the same quality experience but will cater to their specific neighborhoods and communities.
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“Miami is a mirage-inducing, exuberant kind of place," Freeman says. "It makes me think of the guilty pleasures of reading Carl Hiaasen novels and drinking robusta-heavy, sugary espressos served in tiny Styrofoam cups. I love how international the city has become, and I'm looking forward to making coffee for locals and visitors alike."
For more information, visit bluebottlecoffee.com.