The 100 year old Kyoto townhouse turns out a café and tasting room for Blue Bottle Coffee

The 100 year old Kyoto townhouse turns out a café and tasting room for Blue Bottle Coffee

April 4 - 2023

Coffee Geography Magazine

Blue Bottle's new Kyoto’s café and tasting room allows coffee enthusiasts to sample highly selected coffees from all around the world some are rare single origin beans. The studio takes over the second floor of Blue Bottle Coffee Kyoto's front building, which is a renovated 100-year-old machiya townhouse. There are just four seats, allowing customers to enjoy the coffee in a calm setting.


Blue Bottle Coffee, Inc., is a coffee roaster and retailer once headquartered in Oakland, California. In 2017, a majority stake in the company was acquired by Nestlé (68%). It is considered a major player in third wave coffee. The company focuses on single-origin beans. Blue Bottle first expanded to several cafés in locations around San Francisco, including the Ferry Building and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's rooftop garden. The company operates 99 stores as of June 2021, with locations in California, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seoul, Kyoto, Kobe, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Yokohama.


The Blue Bottle Studio Kyoto Coffee Course is reservation-only and costs $62.70 per person. It includes seven different coffees as well as sweets, the latter supervised by Tangentes' Yuichi Goto from Tokyo restaurant Path and pâtissier Kazuhiro Nakamura.

W. James Freeman founded Blue Bottle Coffee in the early 2000s in Oakland’s Temescal District. Freeman borrowed the name from one of Europe's first cafés, The Blue Bottle Coffee House. His intention was to roast coffee in small batches (6 lbs. per roast) to sell within 24 hours of roasting, initially as a home-delivery service. Blue Bottle soon ceased deliveries and opened as a traditional café.

Blue Bottle opened additional locations in San Francisco and elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, and then opened its first New York location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2010. The company-owned stores carry off-menu items such as the "Gibraltar", a form of cortado. In September 2017, Nestle S.A., the world's largest food and drinks company, acquired a majority stake of Blue Bottle. While the deal's financial details were not disclosed, the Financial Times reported "Nestle is understood to be paying up to $500m for the 68 per cent stake in Blue Bottle".