In August The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Southern California’s oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the U.S., announced the signing of an exclusive area development agreement with developer, L.A. Style, to introduce its premium beverages and innovative brand culture to Japan. L.A. Style is a joint-venture partnership between Hotland Co., Ltd. an experienced and actively growing operator in the Japanese fast-casual restaurant segment and Aeon Mall Co., Ltd., Japan’s largest shopping mall developer. The first store will open by the end of 2014, and L.A. Style Inc. intends to grow the brand’s presence nationally with an expected 200 stores across Japan. Established in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is known for sourcing and providing the finest ingredients and flavors from around the world. The company has grown to be an international icon and has almost 1,000 stores in 24 countries, including South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.