Est. 2001, Oakland, CA
Number of locations: 25 in the Bay Area, LA, New York, and Japan, with 10 more coming in 2016
Why it's unique: Blue Bottle started with the mission of never selling coffee longer than 48 hours after it was roasted. It still holds fast to that principle even with a network of 25 cafes, which pair a sleek minimalist design with pioneering brew methods like Japanese siphons. More than any other company on this list, the company has worked to acquire some of the biggest, buzziest names in the industry, from roasters like Handsome to subscription services like Tonx, and even instant technology through Perfect Coffee.
Why it might blow up: If a $70 million round of investment isn't reason enough, the dedication to a perfect cup and pursuit of it -- through not only the brand's own means, but by bringing some of the industry's most promising young players into the fold -- bodes well for its ability to adapt from a specialty experience into something that could be on every corner.