Why people are crazy about Blue Bottle, the coffee chain that Nestle just acquired for up to $500 million

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blue bottle coffee brooklyn Madeline Stone/Business Insider The chain has become hugely popular with hipsters and techies.

Nestle announced Thursday that it had acquired a majority stake in high-end coffee retailer Blue Bottle Coffee, long a favorite of the tech community.

According to the Financial Times, Nestle will be paying up to $500 million for a 68% stake in the chain, which plans to have 55 locations by the end of the year. There are currently Blue Bottle stores in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, DC, and Tokyo.

Blue Bottle has received a total of $12o million in funding from many big-name investors over the years, from Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Management and Research, and True Ventures, to Bono, Jared Leto, Tony Hawk, and the founders of Twitter and Instagram.

The company has become hugely popular with hipsters and techies from coast to coast. Vintage brewing machines and artisanal coffee are some of its major selling points, and lines are known to get long.

We previously paid a visit to the spacious Blue Bottle cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to see what the hype is all about.

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Similar signs encourage you to recycle before you exit.

Similar signs encourage you to recycle before you exit.

Small, simple signs with faux handwritten font prohibit smoking in the cafe (and offer a number if you're looking to quit).

Small, simple signs with faux handwritten font prohibit smoking in the cafe (and offer a number if you're looking to quit).

Employees have to pass rigorous training before they begin work at a Blue Bottle cafe.

Employees have to pass rigorous training before they begin work at a Blue Bottle cafe.

Every day, they process the beans on this vintage Probat roaster, a very precise procedure that requires a lot of concentration. Beans are served within 48 hours of roasting, which guarantees their freshness.

Every day, they process the beans on this vintage Probat roaster, a very precise procedure that requires a lot of concentration. Beans are served within 48 hours of roasting, which guarantees their freshness.

Sacks of coffee beans sit on shelves in the back. The staff explained that they roast small batches at a time, equivalent to about half of one of these bags.

Sacks of coffee beans sit on shelves in the back. The staff explained that they roast small batches at a time, equivalent to about half of one of these bags.

Just beyond, you can get a quick glimpse at the roasting process.

Just beyond, you can get a quick glimpse at the roasting process.

There's plenty of merchandise for sale, like this Hario Range Server that retails for $25.

There's plenty of merchandise for sale, like this Hario Range Server that retails for $25.

The five globes and filters are situated among a collection of coffee knick-knacks opposite the counter where we ordered.

The five globes and filters are situated among a collection of coffee knick-knacks opposite the counter where we ordered.

These funky-looking machines are actually slow cold-drip coffee makers from a Japanese company called Oji. They're used to make Blue Bottle's Kyoto iced coffee.

These funky-looking machines are actually slow cold-drip coffee makers from a Japanese company called Oji. They're used to make Blue Bottle's Kyoto iced coffee.

If we'd ordered our coffee to go, we would've gotten it in one of these trendy brown cups.

If we'd ordered our coffee to go, we would've gotten it in one of these trendy brown cups.

The barista told us that this coffee, which also came from Ethiopia, would best be enjoyed black. It came served hot in a glass mug and had a light floral taste, almost like a tea.

The barista told us that this coffee, which also came from Ethiopia, would best be enjoyed black. It came served hot in a glass mug and had a light floral taste, almost like a tea.

Our drip coffee was almost ready.

Our drip coffee was almost ready.

The espresso, a fruity Ethiopian variety, came out beautifully.

The espresso, a fruity Ethiopian variety, came out beautifully.

The barista put the finishing touches on the espresso drink.

The barista put the finishing touches on the espresso drink.

Next we decided to try some espresso (left) and drip coffee (right). Helpful labeling on each package of coffee lets you know what kind of beans are inside, including where they're from and whether they're Fair-Trade certified.

Next we decided to try some espresso (left) and drip coffee (right). Helpful labeling on each package of coffee lets you know what kind of beans are inside, including where they're from and whether they're Fair-Trade certified.

The New Orleans was sweet, served cold with milk and sugar.

The New Orleans was sweet, served cold with milk and sugar.

The biscuit was one of the best coffee-shop pastries we've had, a savory combination of sweet and salty flavors.

The biscuit was one of the best coffee-shop pastries we've had, a savory combination of sweet and salty flavors.

To start, we decided to try the New Orleans iced coffee and the Buckwheat Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich.

To start, we decided to try the New Orleans iced coffee and the Buckwheat Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich.

According to Blue Bottle, this restored Faema Urania lever espresso machine dates back to 1958.

According to Blue Bottle, this restored Faema Urania lever espresso machine dates back to 1958.

Olive oil shortbread and ginger molasses cookies are just a few of the appetizing options.

Olive oil shortbread and ginger molasses cookies are just a few of the appetizing options.

But there's also a lot of gourmet stuff to look at on the counter, including these Mast Brothers chocolate bars, also from Williamsburg.

But there's also a lot of gourmet stuff to look at on the counter, including these Mast Brothers chocolate bars, also from Williamsburg.

Coffee isn't Blue Bottle's only product. You can buy granola in to-go bags or choose from the baked goods in this case behind the counter.

Coffee isn't Blue Bottle's only product. You can buy granola in to-go bags or choose from the baked goods in this case behind the counter.

They all bear the Blue Bottle mark, too.

They all bear the Blue Bottle mark, too.

Behind the counter, baristas manage a drip bar that's seven cups long.

Behind the counter, baristas manage a drip bar that's seven cups long.

The menu is pretty straightforward, with one size and price for each drink.

The menu is pretty straightforward, with one size and price for each drink.

We snuck a peek at what was going on behind the counter. The company prides itself on unique brewing techniques, and the Williamsburg location uses a vintage Probat roaster, Kyoto-style iced coffee drippers, and a restored Faema Urania lever espresso machine.

We snuck a peek at what was going on behind the counter. The company prides itself on unique brewing techniques, and the Williamsburg location uses a vintage Probat roaster, Kyoto-style iced coffee drippers, and a restored Faema Urania lever espresso machine.

There were a lot of people around, but the cafe was laid-back, and mellow music played over the speakers. We missed the morning rush, when lines can build up.

There were a lot of people around, but the cafe was laid-back, and mellow music played over the speakers. We missed the morning rush, when lines can build up.

More people congregated at this long table in the middle of the room.

More people congregated at this long table in the middle of the room.

Guests were sipping coffee and reading the newspaper at the counter when we visited in the late morning.

Guests were sipping coffee and reading the newspaper at the counter when we visited in the late morning.

We got our first glance of their famous Blue Bottle logo right at the entrance. The logo on a to-go cup is part of the company's cachet and a sure sign the drinker is "in the know" about what's cool in the world of coffee.

We got our first glance of their famous Blue Bottle logo right at the entrance. The logo on a to-go cup is part of the company's cachet and a sure sign the drinker is "in the know" about what's cool in the world of coffee.

We visited Blue Bottle's Brooklyn shop, located on a pretty nondescript street in Williamsburg. The cafe is housed in an early 20th-century brick building that, according to Blue Bottle's site, was at different times used by glass blowers, metal smiths, and barrel makers.

We visited Blue Bottle's Brooklyn shop, located on a pretty nondescript street in Williamsburg. The cafe is housed in an early 20th-century brick building that, according to Blue Bottle's site, was at different times used by glass blowers, metal smiths, and barrel makers.
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