We recently woke up to the fact that our beautiful bioplastic cups and straws were not being composted even though they were 100 percent compostable. Too many ended up in landfills, where they couldn’t break down at all. So we switched to paper straws and sugarcane-paper cups. But that’s still not enough. We still go through on average 15,000 disposable single-use cups per cafe per month in the US alone, which adds up to 12 million cups per year.
When I was in Milwaukee last summer I visited an outlet of Colectivo Coffee, a local coffee business with 13 cafes in the Milwaukee area, three in Madison, WI, and four (soon to be five) in Chicagoland.
I liked the ambience, the coffee was very good (if not exceptional). Felt like a small, independent cafe, definitely nothing like a shop that’s part of a multi-outlet behemoth.
Blue Bottle, a roaster and cafe operator founded in Oakland, California, is a leading player in coffee’s third wave. It has grown significantly since raising capital from private equity investors, and global food megaconglomerate Nestlé now owns a majority stake in the company.
What was once a spunky little indie now is a growing global presence, with stores in California, New York, DC, Miami, Boston, Japan, and soon South Korea. But unlike certain other global coffee chains (cough cough), you’ll still get an amazing coffee from Blue Bottle.