Notebooks and coffee have been seen hand in hand throughout their long histories.
This custom edition and partnership were built upon the foundations of their intertwined histories.
What inspired Blue Bottle Coffee
The tale of Blue Bottle Coffee goes like this: In the late 1600s, the Turkish army swept across much of Eastern and Central Europe, arriving at Vienna in 1683. Besieged and desperate, the Viennese needed an emissary who could cross Turkish lines to get a message to nearby Polish troops. Franz George Kolshitsky, who spoke Turkish and Arabic, took on the assignment disguised in Turkish uniform. After many perilous close calls, Kolshitsky completed his valiant deed, delivering news of the Poles’ imminent rescue to Vienna.
On September 13, the Turks were repelled from the city, leaving everything they brought, including strange bags of beans, which were thought to be camel feed. Kolshitsky, having lived in the Arab world for several years, knew these to be bags of coffee. Using money bestowed on him by the mayor of Vienna, Kolshitsky bought the coffee and opened Central Europe’s first-ever coffee house (The Blue Bottle), bringing coffee to a grateful Vienna.
Together with the creativity of Moleskine and Blue Bottle Coffee’s passion for coffee, we aimed to create a place to write down the aroma, taste, and memories of coffee -- a notebook where people can write their own stories.
In the early 2000s, in Oakland, California, a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic, weary of the commercial coffee enterprise and stale, overly roasted beans, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee.
In honor of Kolshitsky’s heroics, he named his business Blue Bottle Coffee and began another chapter in the history of superlative coffee.
A special journal made by Moleskine for Blue Bottle Coffee
The Moleskine notebook is the heir and successor to the legendary notebooks used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent can Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin. The origins date back to the early 20th Century, in the golden age of literary modernism, when Paris was the mecca for the avant-garde creative class of the time who would take their notes on little notebooks while wandering the streets of Paris or sitting in little cafes. These little notebooks were made in Tours and sold in a local papeterie in Rue de l’Anceinne Comedie. They held the sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famous paintings or the pages of beloved books.
In his book, The Songlines, Chatwin shares a story about a little black notebook which was made by a small family-owned manufacturing company in Tours, France, and unfortunately went bankrupt in 1986. Chatwin says that the owner of the stationery store on rue Ancienne Comédie, where he always bought his notebooks, lamented, as if speaking for him, "Le vrai moleskine n'est plus" (the real Moleskine is gone). He bought all the notebooks he could find before going to Australia, but that wasn't enough.
In 1997, the legendary notebook was resurrected and is now the Moleskine company.
Moleskine and Blue Bottle Coffee have been close to culture, imagination, memory, and personality through notebooks and coffee, respectively. The two brands have come together to create Blue Bottle Coffee's first Coffee Journal -- which consists of pages about the brand story, information on all thing’s coffee and lastly, plain pages to let the imagination run free.
Time well spent enjoying a cup of coffee could be a source of inspiration for many and we hope you’ll find using this coffee journal to inspire you in your coffee journey.