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Clover-Stornetta teams with Blue Bottle Coffee for new product (w/video)

  • Clover Stornetta Quality Assurance Manager Michael Benedetti, left, and Blue Bottle Coffee Company Quality Control Director Benjamin C. Brewer sample the first cartons of Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee made with Clover Organic Milk at Clover Stornetta Farms Inc., in Petaluma, Calif., on April 4, 2014. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

The beverage's white carton prominently features the Blue Bottle name and icon, but it also notes that the coffee is blended with Clover organic milk. Not to be found is an image of Clo, the iconic bovine that has long graced Clover milk cartons and the company's pun-filled billboards.

Clover makes the beverage once a week at its Petaluma processing plant using coffee from Blue Bottle, which enjoys a "cult-like following" among its customers, Marcus Benedetti said.

The coffee company was founded in 2002 by James Freeman, whose website describes as "a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic."

Clover-Stornetta Partners With Blue Bottle Coffee

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Blue Bottle operates a dozen cafes in the Bay Area and New York. Long lines are common at both its Ferry Building espresso bar and its Mint Plaza cafe in San Francisco.

The company made news this week for buying two Los Angeles businesses, the online subscription coffee service Tonx and a popular cafe and roasting company called Handsome Roasters. Quartz on Tuesday said the Tonx purchase amounted to Blue Bottle's plan to "become your coffee-snob friend wherever you are."

The company has drawn interest from Silicon Valley venture capital firms, raising $26 million in January and $20 million in late 2012.

Blue Bottle is considered part of coffee's third wave.

The first wave is said to have arrived with the widespread availability of home coffee blends like Folgers. The second wave involved the growth of specialty roasting companies like Starbucks and Peet's.

The third wave's promoters seek a status for coffee akin to premium wine, where coffee is often sourced from individual farms and care is taken to roast the beans to an optimal level — and nothing more.

Even some who warn of snobbery think that Blue Bottle makes some of the best coffee in the United States.


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