From the KIB: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Stores

In Important Alerts, Newsletter Items by Yisroel Pollock

We received the following letter from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf…
For the past 57 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has been a kosher offering/destination for Guests in the Los Angeles area.  We have long been committed to providing food and beverage offers that delight and inspire our Guests, including the Orthodox community.
In recent months we have all experienced an unprecedented global event that has impacted us in many way.  Before the crises, we began a listening campaign to ensure we are responding to the ever-changing tastes and preferences of our Guests.  As part of this process, extensive consumer research had made it clear that customers are looking for a broader array of food options.  As we weighed how best to meet the needs of a majority of our Guests, we came to the decision to end our store-wide kosher-only status and broaden our product offers.  While this was initially scheduled to be a phased roll-out, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased business pressures.  As a result, we will be moving to a non-kosher bakery and begin serving a new array of food options as of Monday, June 8 2020.  We are taking this difficult step based on insights from research conducted across the entirety of our customer base and to help us remain a leading coffee and tea retailer in the face of heightened industry competition.
While our stores and bakery items will no longer be kosher certified, we will continue to offer a wide assortment of products made from kosher ingredients.  Our packaged coffees, teas and powders remain certified kosher through Kosher Supervision of America (KSA) and our behind-the-bar beverages will continue to be crafted using kosher ingredients.  We will also offer a variety of kosher certified Cold Case and Impulse options for our Guests.  We are grateful to our loyal Guests and our communities for their years of support.  We look forward to continuing to welcome you into our stores in the months and years to come.
Message From Rabbi Eidlitz:
I spoke recently with the KSA and they stand behind all the packaged coffees and teas with the KSA logo on the label in Coffee Bean stores.  Our understanding from this letter from Coffee Bean is that there will no longer be kosher supervision on in-store made drinks.  As such, I would not recommend any flavored drinks or other items that would require kosher supervision in Coffee Bean stores.