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Empowerful Podcast: James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul

The Empowerful Podcast was created to share the profound stories of movers and shakers who are positively impacting the world. Together, we believe we can amplify that change. We live by the motto of an old African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

The day before opening a new cafe in Seoul, Korea, James Freeman, Founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, joined MiiR's Founder, Bryan, for a cup of coffee. Already in 11 countries, Blue Bottle expanded its brand to a second Asian country with the addition of Korea earlier this year. Today, we invite you to join us as Bryan learns the story of James — from when he started Blue Bottle Coffee nearly 20 years ago as a kiosk in San Francisco, to today as the thoughtful, celebrated Founder and Chief Product Officer of this internationally-renowned specialty coffee brand. We hope you enjoy! 

Available on: Spotify and iTunes  



Originally, James moved to the Bay Area in pursuit of a career as a clarinetist. Disappointed with the coffee beans being produced and sold, though, James took roasting and selling into his own hands. His side gig of selling coffee beans at local farmers markets eventually evolved into running a kiosk in Hayes Valley, San Francisco (that is still standing today!) — as his success as a coffee roaster progressed, his sights shifted from a career in music to a path down specialty coffee. Officially founded in 2002, Blue Bottle Coffee is now served in 12 countries around the world. Looking for a Blue Bottle cafe near you? Head here

James Freeman, Blue Bottle James Freeman, Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle has been one of our most celebrated CustoMiiR partners from the get-go. Ironically, one of our closest and biggest custom partners came through our Help Desk out of curiosity of a partnership. We are honored to now be their on-the-go Tumbler and Camp Cup provider, as both of us hold sustainability and a premium experience as two non-negotiable priorities. Today, we are honored to learn more from James as he shares the evolution of Blue Bottle Coffee. Eager to learn more yourself? You can reveal your Blue Bottle Coffee match by heading to their guide to deliciousness.

James Freeman, Blue Bottle CoffeeJames Freeman, Blue Bottle Coffee


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