The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Type Privately held company
Industry Restaurants
Retail coffee and tea
Founded Los Angeles, California (1963)
Founder(s) Herbert B. Hyman1
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people Sunny Sassoon, Chairman
John Dawson, Pres & CEO
Products Whole Bean Coffee
Whole Leaf Tea
Made-to-order beverages
Baked goods
Revenue Increase$450 million USD (2012)
Employees 8,400 (2012)
Parent International Coffee & Tea, LLC

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (sometimes shortened to simply "The Coffee Bean" or "Coffee Bean") is an American coffee chain, owned and operated by International Coffee & Tea, LLC, which has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California.2 The first outlet opened in September 1963. The chain currently has over 900 outlets in 25 countries.3 Within the United States, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has locations in San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Texas, Alabama, Miami, Detroit, New York City, the Twin Cities and Washington, D.C.. The majority of locations are in Southern California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Many locations outside of California are franchises, such as Hawaii. Singapore entrepreneurs Sunny and Victor Sassoon have opened locations throughout Southeast Asia and many other parts of the world since buying the company in 1998.

Free Wi-Fi access is offered at most locations. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is an international chain with locations in Brunei, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand,Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Bahrain and newly opened branch in Amman, Jordan,.4

Several Southern California Ralphs supermarkets have full-service company kiosks in their stores.


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf headquarters in Los Angeles, California

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was founded by Mona and Herbert Hyman in September 1963.5 They opened the first store in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. The original location closed, although a new location opened in the same building on the corner of San Vicente Boulevard and Barrington Avenue. The firm is affectionately known as The Bean among long-time customers that include many Hollywood celebrities, and was touted as a success model for the coffee and tea business in its early days.

In 1996, the Sassoons bought the franchise rights for Asia and in two years, opened 29 outlets (in Singapore and Malaysia) - almost as many as the Hymans had opened in the US until then. Singapore entrepreneurs and brothers, Sunny and Victor Sassoon and their long-time friend and business associate, Severin Wunderman, purchased the company and took it global in 1998. In 2008 Mel Elias assumed the role of President and CEO, after serving seven years as the Chief Operating Officer of the company. Sunny Sassoon served as President and CEO from 1998 until 2008 and moved to the Executive Chairman position in 2008.

During 2013, a significant equity position was acquired by Advent International in partnership with CDIB Capital and Mirae Asset Private Equity. The Sassoon family continue to own a substantial equity position in the Company.6


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is known for its Original Ice Blended drinks, hot and cold tea drinks and hot coffee drinks, and also sells a variety of whole bean coffees, whole leaf teas, flavored powders, and baked goods. Through its CBTL home-product line, The Coffee Bean sells single-serve, capsule-based, espresso, coffee and tea machines.7


The company roasts its coffee in small batches. Jay Isias, Senior Director of Coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, along with Jesse Martinez-Beltran, Master Roaster, travels to small farms and private estates in East Africa, Latin America and the Pacific to source the company’s coffees.8

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffees fall into six categories: Light & Subtle, Light & Distinctive, Medium & Smooth, Dark & Distinctive, Flavored and Reserve.9

CBTL single serve coffee system

CBTL was launched in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Korea in, 2010 and was referred to by CEO Mel Elias as the company’s “biggest innovation to date.” The System is available in department stores and retail outlets in the United States, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. CBTL is additionally distributed in Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Brunei.7

The company manufactures two current (June, 2013) models of CBTL Machines including the $149(USD) MSRP Americano and $179(USD) MSRP Kaldi. Both machines have twin pressure systems that provide 15 bar (espresso) / 3.5 bar (coffee and tea).10 CBTL Machines utilize proprietary capsules that contain coffee, espresso, flavored coffee, tea or hot chocolate.11

The company has lost market share in the Midwest market of the US and retailers such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Target have stopped selling the CBTL coffee makers and have chosen the Keurig product lines as their mainstay.citation needed


David DeCandia is the "Tea Master" for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.12 He spends two thirds of the year traveling to tea estates in different tea growing regions of the world, including India, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas, China and Africa, in search of teas for the company.13

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf teas fall into seven categories: Green, Black, Oolong, Herbal Infusion, Decaffeinated, Flavored and Tea Master’s 14

The Original Ice Blended

In 1989, the company launched their The Original Ice Blended drink. Worldwide, over 20,000 Ice Blended drinks are served daily, and over 7 million annually.citation needed


In 2013, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced its partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters & Keurig to release coffee & tea K-Cups in Spring 2014. 15

Tea Granita

During March 2014, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf introduced its Tea Granita beverage in Pear Berry and Passion Fruit. The Pear Berry is made with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's non-caffiene Swedish Berry tea. 16 17

Holiday drinks

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Los Feliz, California

The company has several holiday drinks:

  • Chai Latte
  • Chocolate and Amaretto Espresso Con Pannas
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Latte
  • English Toffee Latte
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Pumpkin Latte
  • Red Velvet Hot Cocoa
  • Salted Caramel or Cinnamon Mocha Cappuccino
  • Winter Dream Tea Latte

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf also produces a limited edition Holiday Blend Coffee and Winter Dream tea.18192021

Halal and kosher

At all stores, all of the products at The Coffee Bean are certified as kosher. At least one location meets the higher standard of cholov yisroel in their dairy products. Coffee Bean has fared well in its entry into the Israeli coffee chain market. This may be attributed to its kosher food selection. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's beverages are also halal.22


Caring Cup

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf started the Caring Cup initiative provides support to the local communities served by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores, as well as to the communities where the coffee and tea they source is grown.23 Charities whom have benefited from Caring Cup include Kidhane Mehret Students’ Self-Help Association in Ethiopia, Aid Lanka Kids Foundation in Sri Lanka, Shree Dwarika Tea Estate in the Darjeeling Himalayan, The Mukengeria Tea Estate in Kenya, the Bogawantalawa Tea Estate in Bogawantalawa and the Nantou REn-Ai Home for Orphan Children in Taiwan.

The Help Group

The company donates $1 of every pound of Holiday Blend Coffee or 20-count Winter Dream Tea tin sold to The Help Group, a US-based, non-profit serving children with special needs related to autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional problems.24 In 2008, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf held a holiday open house at all company-owned locations in California and Arizona. Customers were treated to 12 oz. holiday beverages. The event was three hours long, during which time 35,000 drinks were given away. The event also helped to raise $30,000 for The Help Group, a Los Angeles-based charity serving special needs youth, through The Coffee Bean's "Deck The Walls" campaign. This campaign provided consumers with the opportunity to select and sign holiday-themed cards in exchange for a $1 donation to The Help Group.25 On November 8, 2012, the campaign continued in its fourth year, with an additional social media component that promoted @TheHelpGroup on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.26 The annual holiday open house featured Winter Dream Tea Latte, Gingerbread Cookie Ice Blended, Gingerbread Cookie Latte and Red Velvet Cocoa. 100% of proceeds from the open house were donated to The Help Group.27

Support from Home

In 2008, the company launched its "Support from Home" campaign, an event that has continued into 2012. Consumers were invited to purchase a bag of coffee, a tin of tea and/or retail merchandise to donate to U.S. troops overseas. Proceeds go to Home" blend to the Fisher House. In total, Coffee Bean customers donated more than 18,000 pounds of coffee to military personnel.

Marketing and promotions

50th Anniversary

In 2013, the company celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a series of promotions. On January 30, 2013, the company gave away free regular sized Anniversary Blend coffee or tea to customers in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.28 The company also created commemorative 50th anniversary merchandise 29 and limited edition 50th anniversary and purple gift cards.3031 In celebration of their 50th Birthday, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf released the Birthday Cake Ice Blended drink. The drink debuted on Monday, May 20, 20133232 During this time, the promotional Ice Blended mobile truck toured Southern California cities sharing free Birthday Cake Ice Blended drinks, along with Rocky Road and Mocha flavors 333435

Valentine's Day Two-For-One

For Valentine’s Day in 2012, 2013 & 2014, The Coffee Bean marketed a sweetheart promotion that provided a free beverage with the purchase of one. Customers were encouraged throughout the marketing initiative to bring their sweetheart, daughter, son, family member or friend.363738

Trade Up Your Cup

On September 29, 2012, National Coffee Day was commemorated in Los Angeles, California with their “Trade Up Your Cup Event”, where consumers traded old coffee machines for new CBTL Kaldi machines. Fans of the brand lined up for blocks on Sunset Boulevard and the company distributed more than 2500 CBTL machines in that one day. The day was also nicknamed #coffeegeddeon by Twitter followers as it also occurred on the same day as the 405 Freeway Shut Down. Old coffee machines were recycled by Athens Services or donated to local charities via

In 2013, the company held its second annual Trade Up Your Cup event at Anaheim Stadium, and distributed over 2500 CBTL Americano machines to fans. The first 250 attendees also received a CBTL Frother. Coffee machines collected during the event were be donated to Goodwill Enterprises to be redistributed across Southern California.40414243

Social Media

During 2013, the company was recognized for its unique approach to localizing social media across its chain of coffee and tea shops. 44 45 46


Hilton Worldwide

On May 28, 2013 Hilton Worldwide announced they had signed an exclusive agreement with The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to provide the in-room coffee and tea packages for all Hilton properties in North America, South America, and Central America.47

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced on May 29, 2013 they had partnered with the company to create a K-Cup for Keurig single-cup brewing systems. The announcement indicated that the packs were planned to be available in a variety of channels in the US starting Spring 2014.48

See also


  1. ^ "Our Heritage". The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  2. ^ "Caring Cup." The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Retrieved on January 15, 2012. "The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 1945 So. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles. CA 90034"
  3. ^ Franchising at official website (accessed 2014-02-22).
  4. ^
  5. ^ [1]dead link
  6. ^ "Private Equity Gets a Cup of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - MoneyBeat - WSJ". The Wall Street Journal. 
  7. ^ a b Retail Asia Online
  8. ^ Polis, Carey (June 5, 2013). "A Week In The Life Of A Major Coffee Chain Executive". Huffington Post. 
  9. ^ Gourmet Whole Bean & Ground Coffee | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Coffee
  10. ^ CBTL Single Serve Coffee Makers & Milk Frothers | CBTL
  11. ^ CBTL Capsules - Coffee and Tea Single Serve Pods | CBTL
  12. ^ Seven Questions with David DeCandia, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's Master Tea Blender: LAist
  13. ^ David DeCandia Blends A World Of Tea For Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf Stores Around The World : OnTravel – Travel Information and Tips
  14. ^ Specialty Whole Leaf Tea | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Tea
  15. ^ { | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: K-Cups Coming in 2014}
  16. ^ { | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf New Tea Granita for $2 Next Week}
  17. ^ { | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Redefines Refreshment With Its New Beverage The Tea Granita}
  18. ^ A Look at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Fall 2012 Menu |Foodbeast
  19. ^ The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: $1 Holiday Beverages (November 8th) – Hip2Save
  20. ^ Best Drink at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Winter Dream Latte | TheDailyMeal: Best and Worst Holiday Coffee Drinks |
  21. ^ Holiday drinks are on tap at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf | SmartBrief
  22. ^ BruneiDirect.Com
  23. ^ The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Official Store
  24. ^ The Help Group
  25. ^ Coffee Bean Holiday Beverage Open House Tomorrow, 2-6 p.m.! - PwrdBy
  26. ^ Pinterest
  27. ^ The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Hosted Holiday Open House to Benefit The Help Group | The Help Group
  28. ^
  29. ^ Drinkware & Gifts | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 50th Anniversary Mug
  30. ^ 50Th Anniversary Purple Gift Card | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Official Store
  31. ^ Gift Card | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Celebrating 50 Years Gift Card
  32. ^ a b Coffee Bean Debuts Ice Blended Truck This Summer
  33. ^ Coffee Bean Rolls Out New Birthday Cake Flavor & Buy One Get One Free Deal | Sommy Rhee
  34. ^ Searcy, Chloe (May 24, 2013). "We Tasted It: Coffee Bean's Birthday Cake Ice Blended". Huffington Post. 
  35. ^ L.A.'s Favorite Cup of Joe Turns Fifty This Month - Digest - Los Angeles magazine
  36. ^ News: The Coffee Bean - Buy One, Get One Free Drinks on Valentine's Day | Brand Eating
  37. ^ Valentine's Day Two-for-One Deal at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf - Business - Montrose-La Crescenta, CA Patch
  38. ^ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: BOGO Any Drink for Valentine’s Day Food Beast
  39. ^ Stuff She Likes: Saturday with the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
  40. ^ Celebrate National Coffee Day at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's "Trade Up Your Cup" Event | The Sunset Strip
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Trade Up Your Cup, Sunday, September 29, 2013 - Orange Coast Magazine - Charitable Events
  44. ^ Innovative Brands Tap Moment Feed to Unlock The Value of Local Marketing
  45. ^ Short Sales
  46. ^ The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf goes hyper local
  47. ^ Now Brewing: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Introduces Exclusive In-Room Collection | Hilton Worldwide Global Media Center
  48. ^ Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Welcomes The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to the Keurig Family (NASDAQ:GMCR)

Further reading

External links

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