It's been a long time, coffee mates, but I'm back (just busy, busy, busy at my day job)! Second-wave coffee shops aren’t dead – they’re hiding in plain sight. Jones Coffee Roasters invited me to their first location in South Pasadena where it was a thriving, tight-knit neighborhood scene that transported me back to 90’s Seattle coffeehouse culture. Jones reminds me a lot of another favorite old-school coffee shop in Long Beach, Viento y Agua – they’re both coffee shops that double as art galleries and a quintessential community meet-up spot.
Santa Monica sweetheart Lo/Cal has a new(ish) location in Fairfax, just steps away from The Grove and The Original Farmer’s Market.
The manager of the Fairfax location is as sweet as their vanilla lattes, which lends to the comforting ambiance of this gorgeous, rustic space. They operate a “5th St. General Store” in tandem (think Schitt’s Creek) with local goods and artisan products like candles, succulents, books and more. Not to mention, lots of Lo/Cal swag. The inside also has brick walls, patterned black and white tiles, lots of birds of paradise and hanging plants, wood cafe tables/chairs and painted leaf murals (largely a warm boho/chic vibe)...
Interested in a coffee subscription box, but not sure where to start? That’s how I felt before I tested five of the most popular boxes in the U.S., and now I’m here to give you the skinny.
First, let’s talk about the “why.”
I love the variety of coffee subscription boxes, so you won’t see Panera, Blue Bottle, Onyx, etc. on this list, because those are all direct from the company and come from only one namesake roaster. On the same thread, I love supporting small businesses, and that’s what you do when you purchase from a roaster you’ve never heard of.
Coffee subscription boxes have blown up in the last couple years for an obvious reason: the pandemic. They were gaining in popularity pre-COVID, but now they’re an industry mainstay.
So, here’s what I analyzed for each subscription box throughout 2020-21 and factors into the overall ranking for each...
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...
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