Your viewing "Coffee" (5 posts).

What defines a community? This is a question I ask myself, not for purposes of abstract thought exercise (ok, maybe in part), but because I'm still on the hunt for a sense of belonging. In Los Angeles, this can be an overwhelming task. Not only are there multiple factors to consider (traffic, lifestyle, etc.), but there is constant change. The area where I live is caught between embracing and resisting a changing of the guard.

Anyway. There was a catalyst for this thought. Cognoscenti Coffee opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Culver City yesterday. A mere fifteen minute drive from me, yet an entire city over. I wondered if it would be anything like Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney (where you are called forward to the coffee counter by meticulously dressed baristas, where people perch rather than lounge). I am, as you can tell, very interested in how places make you feel.

I found a small, spare space with two round tables and a smattering of chairs along a wall. Yeekai Lim and another barista (I didn't get her name) stood behind the bar. They walked me through their selection of beans. They patiently answered my newbie questions.

What's the right grind for pourover? Depends on factors like brew length and water temperature. Yeekai even did a sample grind for me, to demonstrate.

Why did you move here? The space sits below Clive Wilkinson Architects. It was initially offered to Handsome Coffee, but they found it too small and recommended Cognoscenti.

Why the Westside? Yeekai has a strong interest in bringing coffee to this area.


They asked questions of me, too.

What do you normally like to drink? Straight up black coffee, drip or otherwise.

Where do you go for coffee? Uhh good question.

How do you normally make your coffee? Pourover.

Seeing the small selection of beans on the shelves, I asked Yeekai to recommend one from Ritual. I was feeling nostalgic for San Francisco. He directed me to Counter Culture instead. Something new for me.

There was so much I liked about the entire interaction. I love learning, and it feels like a gift when knowledgeable people take the time to inform and welcome you. It beats lonely internet research, I say.

I don't know what this area will look like tomorrow or whether lines will start streaming out the door of this shop. But I had a good experience today.

P.S. The fruity Colombian coffee from Wrecking Ball was excellent. Thanks, Yeekai!

 

I'm a sucker for packaging and had to try Stumptown's Cold Brew Stubbies at least once. I know people love their Stumptown, but this was too bitter for my taste*. I'm happy with my homemade cold brew, which tastes smoother, doesn't cost $4.50 a pop, and doesn't use hundreds of bottles.

This little jar bottle could hold a lone flower or a trio of aroma sticks.

* Sad is the day when it's necessary to make these kinds of obvious statements, but in case the obvious wasn't clear let it be known: I am not a coffee connoisseur.

Coffee and water

Good luck! (With what?)

Sycamore Kitchen, Los Angeles

I never tire of open-air displays of food, even if they consist mostly of sweets. Sycamore has plenty of hipster appeal, plus an outdoor patio. I'm not complaining.

 

I received a surprise in the mail today--Recipe Zine #1 from Thank You For Coming.

Thank You For Coming is a soon-to-be community-run restaurant and art space that plans to, among other things, invite resident artists to "run" the restaurant and host all sorts of programs and events in the space. I forgot how I found out about their Kickstarter campaign but was glad to see they surpassed their fundraising goal.

A multipurpose space, community outreach, education, friendship, good food...all are reasons why I supported this project. Will they succeed? Time will tell. I last heard the team is still setting up the space.

Yo Mama

Photocopies, Courier font, hand-drawn illustrations

Buddhism and knives

What are these seeds?

Obviously unrelated to the zine, but I would like to note that this iced Debello coffee from Intelligentsia reminded me of artificial grape flavor. Apparently my palate is not as refined as that possessed by people at Intelligentsia.

Do I drink it because I like it or because that's the law on Abbot Kinney? Sadly, probably both.

 

Study Fuel: "The Crash," or kopi tubruk - Indonesian coffee (using grounds, akin to Turkish coffee) with a few shots of condensed milk.  Mmmm.
Location: Simpang Asia
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And how are you doing post-Thanksgiving?  Well, Thanksgiving was a while ago, but it has been about that long since I have posted.  Thought I would take this coffee moment to check in with the internets again.

Mea culpa.  It turns out I am rather behind in studying for finals, which begin tomorrow and end on December 16th.  I'm looking forward to being done with this semester, as it means I am one step closer to graduating and (re)joining the so-called real world.

I have been cooking and baking - apple pies (regular, sugar-free, miniature), Thanksgiving fare, various forms of ramen (ok, frozen ramen doesn't count as cooking) - as well as consuming large amounts of chili garlic sauce.  Whether and what I will post here is dependent on the grace of the time gods.

FYI: I'll be posting an original recipe at a place yet-to-be-disclosed, next week.  Keep your eyes open.  In the meantime, what have you been eating? Cooking? Craving?

Be back soon!

Sarah

This post could also be labeled: Left Tilt and Hands. Don't judge me yet!  I have yet to figure out how one is supposed to shoot tall objects.

So by pure luck, I was the lucky recipient of several food gifts this month.  Yes!  Those who know me know I would much rather visit, say, the local farmers market than Bloomingdales.

The chai and hazelnut coffee are from my sister, who just got back from Lyon.  The chai is lovely-laced with cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, ginger, and cloves, it's fragrant and naturally sweet.  The olive oil is from my parents and comes from their neck of the woods.  I haven't tried it yet but am looking forward to pouring some onto the tiered olive oil dish Mike brought back from Florence. 

If you are inwardly rolling your eyes, I will point out that it's an odd coincidence that everyone's travels coincided this year.  This will probably be my last Europe reference for quite some time.  And with that, it's time to get back to studying.  Tonight: Journal potluck.  I'm bringing a fingerling potato salad and a Stump Jump 2008 Shiraz that received good reviews.  Who knows, we will find out!

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