Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: The Best Coffee Chain of All TIME

Okay, it’s official: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is the best coffee chain ever. From Consumerist Ben, this flabbergasting story of corporate caring:

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf… is a Los Angeles-based coffee chain. They’re almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks around LA, and I believe they are only located within the Southwest US.

Anyways, my friend was a big fan of their Winter Dream Latte– It’s got Peppermint, Vanilla, Whipped Cream– delicious stuff, but alas it’s only a seasonal drink and they stop serving it around spring time. My buddy developed a serious addiction for the stuff by then and there was no way he could go cold turkey. He pleaded with the barristas at his local store to keep some in stock. They told him he should contact corporate headquarters, and they gave him all the contact info.

So my friend wrote a nice email to some faceless corporate PR flack expecting a form response along the lines of ” there’s nothing we can do.” At best, he was hoping for a $5 gift card for his troubles.

A couple days later he walked into his local Coffee Bean. The barristas recognized him and without any prompting, they told him that corporate had sent over an entire BAG of the Winter Dream mix, just to keep on hold for whenever he stops by. They also told him that the Winter Dream has a lot of fans internally too, and they’re considering making it a year-round drink (with a less seasonal name, natch).

Now he’s enjoying his enjoying his Winter Dreams long into the dog days of Summer. Kudos to Coffee Bean.

It’s been so long since we came across a thoughtful, caring company that we feel like a virgin, touched for the very first time. Everyone in the Southwest! Go to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf… stat!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben Popken says:

    Ian writes:

    “Just a quick note regarding today’s post about Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf,
    while it’s true they’re mostly found on the West Coast and in the
    Southwest (as well as Hawaii) stateside, there’s a kerjillion of the
    places all over Asia, and in Singapore (where they currently have 39
    locations, versus Starbuck’s 37) they actually seemed to be preferred
    by many people over Starbucks’. (or at least, I know *I* preferred it
    when I lived there) Also has a strong foothold in neighboring
    Malaysia, as well as making major inroads in Korea and looks like they
    may be expanding in the Middle East now, too.

    Not only was their coffee better, (and their teas, don’t get me
    started on Starbuck’s tea, ugh) and the staff always more friendly and
    courteous than the usual Starbuck’s drones, but their interior design
    was much more appealing, with none of that faux-bohemian crap S’Bucks
    seems hellbent on colonizing the world with. Also, not sure if it’s
    still the case, but a while back they had supposedly free WiFi
    internet access in all their stores.

    Sadly, there’s currently only 3 locations here in the Bay Area, all in
    parts of San Francisco I hardly ever go to. (*sniffle*) “

  2. Paul D says:

    A kerjillion?

    That’s a lot guys.

  3. AppTechie says:

    I have made it a habit to stop by the CB&TL any time I am in Cali. I really wish they would put some stores up here in Texas, but sadly they haven’t. Their coffee isn’t that overroasted crap you get at Starsucks!

  4. nweaver says:

    Ben: Yeah, but we have Pete’s. The ORIGINAL Pete’s. In Berkeley…

    Also, go to Cafe Teatro in North Beach. VERY good coffee.

  5. Transuranic says:

    The DAY any company would accede to my wishes to stock the very product I have fallen helplessly in love with (are you LISTENING, Trader Joe, you two-timing drug pusher who withdraws everything I’ve ever cared about?)…

    Bravo to you, Coffee Shoots Leaves and Frances Bean.

  6. Rob Spence says:

    I second Ian (above).
    I got turned on to CB&TL while my wife was in labor at the hospital in in Singapore. There was a CB&TL in the lobby. I must have drank a dozen cups of thier coffee within a 24 hour span. Maybe I’m just brainwashed now, but Starbucks pales in comparison to me now. (But I’m still a diehard Caribou Coffee fan when in MN.)

  7. I just emailed their PR department via their website to let them know.

  8. Crissy in Honolulu says:

    I second everything everyone has said here about CB&TL. I LOVE their Ice Blendeds (they have a peppermint one during the winter months, too, heheh) and that they have no sugar added, fat free (NSAFF) versions of their powdered flavorings that you can order for your drink OR buy so you can make your own flavored drinks in a blender at home. Plus, there’s the whole friendly employee thing and the fact that their food, while overpriced as it always is at a coffee shop, is of excellent quality (tuna & artichoke wraps — mmm . . .).

  9. Das Ubergeek says:

    That sounds a lot like CB&TL… they have good coffee (and it’s even better than Peet’s). And transuranic — I feel your pain. Bring back my Moroccan tagine sauce, Traitor Joe!

  10. Treved says:

    On top of all the other goodness, every CB&TL is kosher. At least the ones in LA.

  11. Hi all, here’s the reply I got the other day.

    Good morning, Ben!

    Thank you so much for contacting us!

    We so appreciate you sending us the link to the posting from The Consumerist! It’s so awesome to read about such a positive experience, and to know that one of our customers would be kind enough to take the time to share it! Hopefully it doesn’t come off as too cliché, but we really do genuinely try to accommodate the requests of each of our customers whenever possible. That said, it’s also super nice to find out that they do appreciate the effort. :)

    Just so you know, I have forwarded your email along to our Marketing Team, as well as to a bunch of folks here in our Home Office. We really do appreciate you alerting us to the site!

    [irrelevant section deleted]

    Again, thank you so much for contacting us!

    Have a great day!

    Melissa Lippert
    Customer Relations Representative
    International Coffee & Tea, LLC
    dba The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®
    1-800-832-5323, Customer Relations
    Option #2 for Coffee Bean Cards/Credit Card info.
    Option #3 for Store Related Concerns/General info.
    Direct line: (310) 237-7261
    Main line: (310) 237-2326, ext 361

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Customer Service Web Form [mailto:deleted]
    Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 10:40 AM
    To: ! Comments
    Subject: Donation Request/Public Relations

    Hi there, I wasn’t 100% certain which category to place this in. but I thought your PR department might be interested in a VERY favourable article which was posted recently on the popular consumer affairs blog, The link to the article is here:

    Perhaps you’d like to list it under your press releases section? I’ve never been to one of your stores (wrong continent altogether; although do you have any plans to expand in the U.K. any time soon?) but it sounds like you’re a good business indeed.

    Kind Regards,
    Ben Outram

  12. coffeelover says:

    At a recent trip to a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to grab a delicious coffee as we do often…we were thrown out because we brought in a package of uneaten cookies from a nearby store. We were told that we were thrown out for religous purposes not for bringing in outside food. You see, I don’t think many people know that this is a Jewish owned establishment. Not to insult the religion….but this is America..we were threatend by letting us know that Jewish Rabais frequent stores to make sure that people do not bring in outside foods. We did see a posting on l door although the entrance which we used through a mall did not have anything posted about kosher foods. Had it of been posted we might have seen it. Regardless we were asked to leave for religious purposes rather than store policy. Or is this a store policy that exists in America? I will make sure that the next time a Jewish person complains that there is no menora in a store or public place….I’ll ask them why is there not a Christmas tree or a Nativity scene in a Coffee Bean also. Is there a double standard here?

    I do enjoy Coffee Bean products but will now spread the word about their policy in America…God forbid my 79 year old diabectic mother have a low blood sugar incident there and has to eat her Glycerna bar there…would they kick her out too?
    What at law suit that would be, especially if they denied her that bar and passed out or even had convulsions or dies. The media would have fun with this one….