A bastion of third-wave coffee that got its start in California and expanded to such a degree that it attracted investment from one of the largest food brands in the world makes its first foray into Greater Boston this weekend. Blue Bottle Coffee — in which Nestle now holds a majority stake — opens on Saturday, February 3 in Harvard Square (40 Bow St.), and two additional locations will arrive elsewhere in Boston later in the year.
Word of Blue Bottle’s expansion first surfaced in October 2016, and a solid opening date for the Cambridge cafe has been a long time coming. It will be the first of several planned for the metro area, with one slated for Boston’s Prudential Center in Back Bay and another landing elsewhere in Boston proper. Blue Bottle also operates cafes in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo.
Blue Bottle has long focused on providing fresh-roasted beans in its cafes, and the Cambridge location will source its beans from the company’s roasting facility in Bushwick, New York. The beverage menu will feature standard coffees, along with espresso, cold brew, and New Orleans-style iced coffee, which is brewed with roasted chicory and sweetened with sugar.
On the food side, patrons will find pastries, toasts, and liege-style waffles, among other items. (This won’t be the only coffee shop in town that also serves liege-style waffles; Curio Coffee in East Cambridge does, and Longfellows, located inside Lamplighter Brewing Co., occasionally does. And then there’s Cambridge ice cream shop Honeycomb Creamery, which serves waffles and coffee, not to mention Zinneken’s in Harvard Square, a waffle shop that serves coffee, and Saus, a Boston restaurant that serves waffles and many other things. In short: Boston loves waffles.)
Eventually, Blue Bottle’s Harvard Square location will also offer coffee classes focusing on brewing techniques and varieties of coffee.
Ahead of Saturday’s opening, Cambridge’s Blue Bottle will hold a community day with its non-profit partner, Artists For Humanity, a Boston-area organization aimed at providing creative employment opportunities for youth. Through the partnership, Blue Bottle will provide support through sales donations. The first community day on February 2 will provide a sneak peek of the Cambridge cafe from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We were inspired to make our way to Boston due to its rich history and thriving academic communities, and Harvard Square is the ideal location for our first cafe,” Bryan Meehan, the CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee, said in a release. “The city’s coffee scene has been gaining momentum over the past few years, and we’re looking forward to joining the community and sharing our passion for thoughtfully sourced, freshly-roasted coffee beans with locals and visitors alike.”
Blue Bottle’s Cambridge cafe will span about 1,400 square feet, with seating for 22, as previously reported. The company previously applied for a license to operate daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Update, 1/30, 12:30 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect the official opening date of February 3, 2018.
• Blue Bottle Coffee Coverage on Eater [EBOS]