Jimmy Butler Launches Big Face Coffee After NBA Bubble Pop Up, Aspires to Run Own Café After Career

"I don't want anybody to think I'm just handing this off to somebody else to do the work. People understand how much time and effort I put into coffee outside of basketball," Jimmy Butler tells PEOPLE

Jimmy Butler Ventures into the Coffee Business After NBA Bubble Pop Up
Photo: Big Face Coffee

Jimmy Butler has had his eyes on winning his first NBA championship — and now he's setting his sights on succeeding in a completely different world.

On Friday, the Miami Heat star, 32, dropped his first collection from his new coffee brand, Big Face Coffee, which he first dreamed up in the NBA Bubble for the 2019–20 season and infamously charged $20 a cup.

With the official launch, Butler wants caffeine enthusiasts to know that Big Face Coffee isn't just another celebrity business for which he's only the spokesperson. "I am a big part of this. I don't want anybody to think that I'm just handing this off to somebody else to do the work. I'm all for what you put into it, you'll get out of it," Butler tells PEOPLE. "People understand how much time and effort I put into coffee outside of basketball. It'll help people understand how important this thing is."

It's a concept that's been in the works since Butler became known as a coffee connoisseur in the league's quarantine Bubble, where he made fresh brews from his own French press out of necessity because he couldn't find anything to his liking.

"The reasoning behind [the name Big Face Coffee] was when we first got into the Bubble during the pandemic, I remember opening up our per diem and it was like $2,080 in there. Basically 20 $100 bills and four $20 bills," Butler recalls.

The businessman in him saw an opportunity.

"So I'm thinking, okay, if I charge $20 for a cup, all I got to do is get somebody for a good cup of coffee. You're going to run out of $20 and they're going to come back with these $100 bills, a.k.a big faces," he explains of his brand's name which started as an inside joke. "Whenever they hand me the hundred, I'm going to be like, 'Whoops, sorry. I don't have change. Thank you for paying a hundred dollars for a cup of coffee.' Never really worked that way but the idea was genius."

The coffee caught on, arguably helping keep the Heat caffeinated to reach the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Though the Heat lost, Butler left the Bubble with a business idea and requests from others about where they could get their hands on his cups of joe.

Now, he's partnered with Shopify and releasing his roasts to everyone in a custom-made NFT (non-fungible token) box for $250, which will include two coffee blends — sourced from Guatemala, Brazil, Honduras and El Salvador — along with an NFT that explains the coffee's origin, class, score, region, variety, process, farm and flavor notes.

The obvious first step to making coffee at home is buying the blend but making the perfect cup is not as easy. Butler recommends beginners to start with a pour-over. "It's simple enough. It's very, very, very, self-explanatory. It's literally in the name," he says. "Start like that, perfect that. I haven't even done that yet, because I don't think there's no perfect cup of coffee, but I'd be damned if you can't try to hit a perfect cup of coffee."

Butler is already dreaming big for Big Face's future.

"I do want to open stores and coffee shops after my career, but that's just because I really love coffee. I really want to sit down and just talk with people over coffee," he says. (He's even already filed trademark protection for apparel and baked goods.)

"When Jimmy Butler the basketball player is done, I guarantee that when you Google search Big Face Coffee shop, and you find one, especially if it's in Miami or San Diego, I'll probably end up in there working perfecting my latte art. That's where I'll be to show people that this isn't a game for me. I really, really, really enjoy drinking coffee," he says.

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Jimmy Butler Ventures into the Coffee Business After NBA Bubble Pop Up
Big Face Coffee

In the meantime, Butler is focused on the upcoming NBA season with new teammates, including his close friend and the godfather of his daughter, Kyle Lowry.

"It's going to be very interesting, very fun. I think that's the best part about it is you're bringing in champions. Those who have done it before, and those that can show those who haven't, including myself, what it takes to get there and what it takes to win. I think that that is the biggest blessing of it all," Butler says of Lowry, who won a ring with the Toronto Raptors, as well as PJ Tucker, who just won a title last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Honestly, everybody knows how I feel about Kyle and that's my guy, but as you move down a line, everybody's coming in brand new," he says of the 2021-22 roster. "This is going to be a very, very, very exciting NBA season. The fans are going to be back so the energy is going to be unmatched in the arena. Everybody there, they want to win the championship."

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