After amassing 50 cafes in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Tokyo, Blue Bottle Coffee has opened its first Boston-area location in a high-profile location just off Harvard Square in Cambridge.
With the opening, the marketing team at Nestlé-owned Blue Bottle is making reference to three major local cultural phenomena: The Boston tea party; sports; and, most aggressively, American literary tradition.
“At Blue Bottle, we like to think of ourselves as a literary group of coffee lovers. From our affinity for National Poetry Month to our penchant for enjoying a good book with our coffee, we’re moved by written language in a way that feels inextricable from our raison d’être,” the company wrote in an announcement of the Boston opening. “Maybe it’s all those hours spent searching for the words to describe even one individual coffee’s particular deliciousness. It’s no accident that we now find ourselves in Boston and its surrounding suburbs, a region with a rich literary history. From Henry David Thoreau to Angelina Weld Grimké to Frank Bidart, the legions of writers who have lived here (many in order to attend Harvard University, only a stone’s throw from this cafe) will never fail to inspire us.”
In a city where it’s difficult to walk a block without running into a Dunkin’ Donuts sign, Blue Bottle is the latest of several prominent “third wave” coffee companies to wade into into the Boston market. Chicago-based Intelligentsia and Philadelphia-based La Colombe and have all made Boston retail debuts within the past two years. Meanwhile, the city has seen some splashy openings from homegrown companies such as George Howell Coffee, Jaho Coffee and Broadsheet Coffee Roasters, the latter just a stone’s throw away in Cambridge.
Occupying some 1,400 square feet with seating for approximately 22 guests, according to an Eater report, Blue Bottle Cambridge will offer the company’s standard espresso menu with blends and single-origin filter coffees poured to order.
Said Blue Bottle, “In a place where literature and sport stoke equal passions, we are confident that our bibliophilic baristas and fidelity to coffee will fit right in.”