As we all know, outdoor dining is back in LA, just in time for Valentine’s Day. But, many are still apprehensive to dine out (rightly so) due to COVID, so I think coffee, baked goods and champagne suffice for a lovely, intimate at-home V-day.
Thus, I give you some of the best LA bakeries and patisseries for a 2021 pandemic Valentine’s Day:
On the east-end of Melrose, before the trendy sneaker shops, pop ups and Kobe murals, there lies a sleeping giant: Coffee For Sasquatch.
This Insta-friendly woman-owned minimalist cafe serves up SF-based (also woman-owned!) Ritual coffees along with seasonal pastries and year-round smiles. While the owner, Claire, lives in New York, the manager, Andrew, is her on-the-ground confidant, acting as her eyes and ears. “It’s been tough during the pandemic,” he said, “but she trusts my judgement.” Personal note: Near the end of 2020, Andrew married another barista he met at CFS (Kailee) and they are moving! Coffee brings so many people together (happy tears). Ehem...
It’s that time of year, and time for CoffeeMate’s first annual gift guide!
I’ve rounded up things on my personal wish list, things I’ve bought in the past and some unique new finds for the coffee lover in your life (or yourself)!
Without further ado, here’s your caffeinated gift guide to kick off the new year right:
DYK? A banyan is a type of ficus tree native to Florida, India, the Carribean and elsewhere. When you think of Tomb Raider or Baton Rouge, you probably picture these twisted-trunk trees with vines hanging from the branches and historically spiritual roots (see what I did there).
With symbolic Floridian pride, Josh and Abbey Schmitt of Bradenton, FL decided to name their coffee venture after the iconic tree, and in 2018, Banyan Coffee was born.
“Banyan trees grow so unique and are considered one of, if not the largest, trees in terms of coverage,” said the husband/wife founder duo. “I guess it's how we wanted our business model to be -- we wanted to offer something unique in Bradenton.”
Josh and Abbey had been roasting for their own personal coffee needs for almost a decade before deciding to make a living from it!” We started in our garage with a single popcorn popper and eventually ended up with about 20 in our garage. We began sharing our coffee with others and then it took off and... we realized that roasting out of several popcorn poppers wasn't going to meet demand.”
They emphasize freshness as key to their methodology. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their adorable mobile coffee cart! Locals can rent it out for parties/weddings/corporate events, etc. and it’s part of how they deliver the freshest-roasted coffee in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
Banyan was kind enough to gift me a variety of coffees to taste and review, and it’s a good thing, because I had to pace myself to keep from binging …
In the early days of COVID-19, I asked my humble amount of IG followers how their coffee habit had been impacted.
About 80% said yes, it had been impacted and they were drinking more coffee as a result. Months later, it was a resounding 100%, and 100% were drinking “more coffee than before the pandemic.” Now obviously my poll is biased, filled with coffee drinkers, long-time caffeine addicts, but market research is showing my poll was not far from the trending truth...
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CoffeeMate is your utilitarian guide to LA coffee shops, dedicated to amplifying small businesses.
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