The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

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The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (sometimes shortened to simply "Coffee Bean" or "The Coffee Bean") is an American coffee chain founded in 1963. It is owned and operated by International Coffee & Tea, LLC, which has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, California. As of August 2015, the chain has over 1000 self-owned and franchised stores in the United States and 24 other countries. The company was founded by Herbert Hyman in September 1963, as a coffee service for offices. He and his wife Mona, whom he married in 1966, honeymooned in Sweden, where they discovered quality coffee. This sparked the decision to import, roast and sell gourmet coffee in Los Angeles, opening the first Coffee Bean store in 1968 in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. Innovations included selling whole beans and touting their country of origin, and allowing customers to observe the beans being roasted and sample varieties before making a purchase. Hyman is considered to be instrumental in the creation of the gourmet coffee industry in the US. He died on April 28, 2014, at the age of 82. By the 1970s, Coffee Bean had expanded to 10 stores in Southern California, and added exotic teas to the menu. In the summer of 1987, an employee brought a blender to a Westwood store, mixing together ice, coffee extract and chocolate powder, paving the way for the companys signature Ice Blended drinks. With the invention of the Ice Blended, the Coffee Bean saw a surge in popularity. The drink was a predecessor to the Starbucks Frappuccino. In 1991, when it was first planning to expand into Los Angeles, Starbucks tried to purchase Coffee Bean, but Hyman turned them down. The opening of Starbucks stores in Los Angeles unexpectedly helped Coffee Beans business, by driving curious customers to the area.